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IU named a top student Fulbright producer for 2023-24


Today, Indiana University Bloomington was named—for nine years running—a top producer for the highly prestigious and competitive Fulbright U.S. Student program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Only 56 of the nation’s more than 250 doctoral research universities share the “top producer” honor.

For this academic year, 13 IU Bloomington students were offered Fulbright awards, placing IU in the top 40 institutions. Since 1949, I’m pleased to note that more than 650 IU students—representing IU Bloomington, IU Indianapolis, IU Fort Wayne, and IU Southeast—have earned this honor.

This year’s Fulbright class includes Marria Peduto of Indianapolis, who graduated in spring 2023 with majors in international studies and East Asian languages and cultures from the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, and a major in sustainable food and marine systems through the College of Arts and Sciences’ Individualized Major Program. Marria, who has used IU’s resources to visit every one of Earth’s continents, is working on a research project in Bali focused on how local communities are restoring and protecting Indonesia’s rich coastal ecosystem. She hopes to use this experience as she pursues an interest in the impacts of ecosystem restoration on food security.

This year’s Fulbright class also includes Samantha Horton, a doctoral student from Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies. She’ll spend her Fulbright in Brazil researching African-derived religions in the Atlantic with a focus on Afro-Catholicism. Her goal: To collect oral histories of Black women leading cultural and religious centers, elevating their voices, and bringing their narratives to a published work in the future.

Derek Richardson of Virginia Beach, Virginia, a sociology graduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, will be IU’s first Fulbright winner to study in Cambodia, where he will advance research comparing how professionalized international nongovernmental organizations and citizen-led, amateur aid organizations—often referred to as “grassroots” INGOs—draw upon various forms of expert knowledge in providing health care services to residents of this developing nation.

Our Fulbright students are shining—and inspiring—examples of IU’s sustained commitment to the international dimensions of teaching, research, and service.

Pamela Whitten

Indiana University

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