Holy Cross Again a Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars

The 2022 rankings by the Chronicle of Higher Education continue the College’s long history as a leading producer of student scholars

The College of the Holy Cross, once again, ranks as one of the premier institutions in the country when it comes to producing Fulbright students. 

Six Holy Cross students were accepted into the Fulbright Program in the 2021-2022 academic year, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. The recipients included Helen Conroy '21, who arrived in Argentina this week, Emily Cook '21, who is in Spain, Madeleine Fontenay '21, who is in South Korea and Emily Rothmann '20, who returned from the Czech Republic this month. Two other students were awarded but declined Fulbright awards. 

The Fulbright Scholars program is recognized as one of the most prestigious international exchange programs in the world. Fulbright alumni around the world include 61 Nobel Prize recipients, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners and 40 current or former heads of state or government. Since 1965, Holy Cross has produced more than 160 Fulbright scholars. 

"I am proud that Holy Cross has been on the top producing list in 15 of the 18 years that the Fulbright has awarded this distinction," said Anthony B. Cashman, director of the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies at the College. "The Fulbright Scholarship is definitely at the center of our efforts in the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies, and I hope that we will keep our top-producing streak going this academic year."

Rothmann, a biology major in the honors program, received the award last year but was unable to travel due to COVID-19. This year, Rothmann taught English at a nursing school in the Czech Republic where students study dentistry, nursing, pre-med and paramedics. 

"With Fulbright, I wanted the added challenge of not knowing the language and being the only American in a non-touristy city," Rothamann said. "When faced with these challenges, you learn so much about yourself and the kindness of people. I met so many wonderful families that took me in as their own despite the language barrier."

Cook, a Spanish major, remembers her experience fondly working as an art teacher in Spain.

"The Fulbright grant was the perfect opportunity to combine my love of working with children and participating in active cultural exchanges," she said. 

Like many other students, Cook accepted the Fulbright for the advantage the real-world experience will give her as she works toward her goals. She believes her time in Spain will assist her in pursuing her goal of becoming a doctor. 

"My goal is to become a bilingual pediatric oncologist or cardiologist in the future, making this opportunity even more pertinent," she said. "I will be working directly with children and developing crucial linguistic skills along the way. I am so thankful for this opportunity!"

Holy Cross is in the running again this upcoming academic year, with 16 student applicants recently designated semi-finalists to become Fulbright Scholars.

Read more about this year's Fulbright Scholars from Holy Cross, including their locations of study in the program and their goals for the experience.