University of Michigan Named Top Fullbright Public Institution


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Frank Sedlar, a University of Michigan Fullbright recipient, speaks with residents of Jakarta, Indonesia.

Photograph Courtesy of Marcin Szczepanski, University of Michigan Engineering

Nearly 30 students at the University of Michigan received Fullbright grants for the 2015-2016 academic year, more than any other public university in the U.S.

"The students at U-M display a public ethos that is an example to all of us," says Josh Holloway, vice provost for global education. “Students' interests range from studying migrants in Mexico and researching urban flooding in Indonesia to investigating how preparations for the Olympics affect low-income communities in Brazil.”

In one Fullbright-funded project, Frank Sedlar, a University of Michigan graduate student, works to develop a crowd-sourced flood mapping technology in Jakarta, Indonesia. The city was damaged by floods every monsoon season, and Sedlar's team uses data from Twitter to coordinate official flood responses.

Another Fullbright grant was used by Layne Vandenberg to study the impact of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on the city's slums.

"The Fulbright gives me a space to experiment with and fail in my field of interest and see how development and sport can push positive change,"  Vandenberg says.

The U.S. government awards more than 1,900 Fullbright awards each year. The grants are designed to foster relationships between the U.S. and other countries by giving students backing to work on international projects.

"It is no accident that U-M once again leads the nation as the top-producing public university," says Pauline Jones Luong, director of the University's International Institute.

 "The faculty and staff at the International Institute are deeply committed to international education and global engagement,"Luong says. "They play an enormous role in inspiring and preparing students to participate and succeed in this competition."

The University of Michigan also won more grants than any other public university in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Only one institution received more grants than Michigan this year: private Harvard University, with 31.

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