For the 8th year running, USC earns top honors for producing Fulbright students
Fulbright students in this year’s cohort from USC Dornsife are teaching or studying across the globe. (Illustration: iStock/K Selnick.)

For the 8th year running, USC earns top honors for producing Fulbright students

Fourteen USC students received the prestigious grant to study and conduct research overseas, and 10 of those were USC Dornsife students. [4 ¼ min read]
ByEric Lindberg

USC has been named a top producer of U.S. Fulbright students for the eighth year in a row.

Through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, award winners receive a one-year grant to study, conduct research or teach English around the world. Fourteen USC students, 10 of whom studied at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, were selected for the honor in the 2019-2020 award cycle.

“One of our important missions at USC is to educate and create global leaders and citizens of the world — and that’s exactly what the U.S. Fulbright Student Program is designed to do,” said USC Provost Charles F. Zukoski. “The international exchange program allows our students to study, research and learn across the world while promoting mutual understanding and enhancing cultural exchange.”

Institutions with the most Fulbright recipients are lauded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and highlighted each year in The Chronicle of Higher Education. With this year’s cohort of grant winners, USC ranks among the top research institutions throughout the United States.

While working, studying, conducting research or teaching English, Fulbright students live with locals in their host country. Here are USC Dornsife’s most recent Fulbright recipients, all of whom graduated with bachelor’s degrees in 2019 unless otherwise noted.

USC Dornsife Fulbright students teach English, study history, education, medicine and more

Kylie Burdsall holds a degree in biochemistry and a minor in cultural competence in medicine. She is studying type 1 diabetes at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and hopes to devise new preventive strategies to combat the disease. She plans to apply to dual M.D./Ph.D. programs after her Fulbright.

Hanna Fahsholtz majored in narrative studies and completed minors in international relations and Spanish. She is teaching English in Spain, where she also leads students in a yearlong project similar to Model United Nations. She is interested in different approaches to education worldwide and hopes to use her knowledge to improve educational policy in the United States.

Rebecca Harbeck earned a degree in sociology and minored in law and public policy. She received a Fulbright English teaching assistantship in Taiwan, after which she plans to pursue doctoral research focused on educational inequality.

Jonathan Horwitz graduated with a degree in political economy and minors in Spanish, statistics and urban and sustainable planning. Through the Fulbright Binational Business Internship Program in Mexico City, he is working with a management consulting firm while taking graduate-level courses in international business at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. He wants to pursue a career in law and public policy focused on the environment and water scarcity.

Marta Olson graduated in 2016 with dual degrees in narrative studies from USC Dornsife and music from the USC Thornton School of Music. She was awarded a Fulbright English teaching assistant grant in Argentina this spring, where she will instruct students at a teacher training college, study music and collaborate with local musicians to learn more about the country’s musical style and traditions.

Sydney Park completed a degree in international relations and is serving as an English teaching assistant in a secondary school in Spain. She plans to pursue a career in the legal profession, focused on resolving international disputes.

Emily Rauch studied international relations with a focus on global business before receiving a Fulbright English teaching assistantship in Taiwan. She plans to pursue a career in law and international policy.

Marla Ross earned her degree in cognitive science and minored in Spanish and teaching English to speakers of other languages. She is teaching English to university students in Colombia, where she is also encouraging cross-cultural awareness. She wants to specialize in higher education administration, with a focus on international exchange and foreign language programs.

Alanna Schenk studied international relations with a minor in human security and geospatial intelligence. Her Fulbright study grant took her to Denmark to enroll in Aalborg University, where she is completing a master’s degree in European studies with an Arctic specialization. Her graduate coursework focuses on Danish society, its politics and its relationship with the Arctic. Schenk is also researching ways to improve interactions among private industry, policymakers and indigenous communities in Greenland, and she envisions a career centered on U.S.-Arctic relations.

Minerva Solís-Rubio graduated in 2017 with degrees in international relations and Spanish with a focus on human security and public policy in Latin America. She is completing the Fulbright Binational Business Internship in Mexico City, which involves social entrepreneurship, impact investing and international development for a U.S.-Mexico company. The first-generation college student is also enrolled in international business courses at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. She plans to pursue a career in social entrepreneurship and international development.

USC offers support, advice to Fulbright students and other grant applicants

Nearly all of USC’s Fulbright student recipients sought assistance with their application from experts at USC Academic Honors and Fellowships. The office helps USC students seek competitive fellowships and other prestigious programs, providing advice, essay reviews and mock evaluations to help them prepare for interviews.

In addition to those from USC Dornsife, this year’s cohort of USC Fulbright recipients included graduates of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy.

See USC News for more on the story >>