Penn State ranks as a top producer of Fulbright students for 8th year

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Among doctoral institutions in the U.S., Penn State again ranks as a top producer of Fulbright students. A total of 10 Penn Staters were accepted into the U.S. Department of State’s international educational exchange program for 2019-20.

Fulbright offers one-year grants to study, conduct research or serve as an English teaching assistant in more than 160 countries worldwide. Applicants must be graduating seniors, alumni or current graduate students who are U.S. citizens or nationals.

Those accepted to the English Teaching Assistant Program, and their countries of study, are:

  • Scout Cheeks; criminology and global and international studies, College of the Liberal Arts; Brazil
  • Karly Feinberg, corporate innovation and entrepreneurship, Smeal College of Business, Colombia
  • Geoffrey Merz; community, environment and development, College of Agricultural Sciences; Senegal
  • Alanna Powers; advertising and public relations, Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, and English, College of the Liberal Arts; Czech Republic
  • Jayme Rhoads; Italian and French and Francophone studies, and global and international studies, and comparative literature, College of the Liberal Arts; Italy
  • Rachel Shriver; secondary education, College of Education; Colombia
  • Tessa Sontheimer; community, environment and development, College of Agricultural Sciences, and global and international studies, College of the Liberal Arts; Indonesia

Three were selected for the study/research program:

  • Andrew Hoffman; German, College of the Liberal Arts; Austria
  • Jacob Johnson; forest resources, College of Agricultural Sciences; Zambia
  • Eve Jones; community, environment and development, College of Agricultural Sciences; Cambodia

“It is an honor for Penn State to once again be recognized as a top producer of students being awarded the Fulbright,” said Alan Rieck, associate vice president and associate dean of Undergraduate Education. “The Penn State University Fellowships Office staff and the students applying make a tremendous team. I am confident that Penn State’s award numbers would grow even further if more students explored this and other opportunities for the unique experiences offered through fellowships and supported by the staff in the University Fellowship Office.”

Apply to the program

Students and alumni interesting in applying to the next round of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program will need to first submit notice of their intent to apply to the University Fellowships Office ( by Aug. 14. Then, by Aug. 28, students and alumni must submit a completed application through the Fulbright online application system.

The month of September will be dedicated to campus interviews, where the University Fellowships Office will assemble committees of Penn State faculty and staff to interview applicants and provide extensive feedback on applications.

The expected national Fulbright deadline is Oct. 13. Up until this time, students and alumni will be able to revise and refine their materials based on the feedback they receive through the campus interviews.

Fulbright–Peace Corps information sessions

Combined Fulbright – Peace Corps information sessions are currently slated for 5-6 p.m. on March 18 and April 8 in 312 Boucke Building, University Park campus. Andrew Maguire, the local campus recruiter for the Peace Corps, will also be co-presenting.

The University Fellowships Office is part of Penn State Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at

Last Updated February 25, 2020