CSB named a top Fulbright producer in 2020-21

Alum Features Academics

February 18, 2021

For the sixth time in seven years, the College of Saint Benedict was named one of the top producers of Fulbright U.S. students by the U.S. Department of State.

CSB had six Fulbright awards offered in 2020-21, finishing in a tie for 24th with nine other schools in the baccalaureate category.

The finish was CSB’s highest since placing 25th in 2016-17. CSB also placed 29th in the 2014-15 survey, 34th in 2015-16, 33rd in 2018-19 and 30th in 2019-20. 

Three CSB 2020 graduates received awards as Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs), sponsored by the Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board:

  • Amanda Bjerke, from Elko New Market, Minnesota, accepted an ETA position in Germany. She received a degree in German at CSB.
  • Samantha Givens, from Ventura, California, accepted an ETA position to Malaysia. She received a degree in political science at CSB.
  • Allison Grodnick, from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, accepted an ETA position to Poland. She received a degree in biochemistry at CSB.

Three other 2020 CSB graduates received Fulbright awards but declined the award to accept other opportunities.

  • Tracy Magooba, from South St. Paul, Minnesota, declined a Fulbright Award in order to accept the Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Fellowship. She received a degree in political science at CSB.
  • Julia Petron, from Zimmerman, Minnesota, was offered but declined a Fulbright ETA Award to Germany. She opted to accept a Fulbright Austria-United States Teaching Assistant position offered through the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research. She received a degree in German at CSB.
  • Ilyse Putz, from Milo, Iowa, declined a Fulbright Award to accept an offer into the CEPLAS Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences Ph.D. Scholarship at Universität Düsseldorf, Universität Köln, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research Cologne, and Forschungszentrum Jülich   She received degrees in biology and German at CSB. 

In response to COVID-19 program adaptations, the 2020-2021 Top Producing data reflects the total number of awards offered, rather than the number of awards accepted as has been the criteria in past years.

See here for a listing of both CSB and Saint John’s University Fulbright winners from 2014-20.

Bowdoin College led all baccalaureate institutions, with 24 awards offered. Four other Minnesota schools were listed: Macalester (11 awards offered), St. Olaf (9), Carleton (7) and Minnesota-Morris (4).

The Fulbright Program was created to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and people of other countries.

More than 2,200 U.S. students and 900 U.S. college and university faculty and administrators are awarded Fulbright awards annually. In addition, some 4,000 Fulbright Foreign Students and Visiting Scholars come to the United States annually to study, lecture, conduct research or teach their native language in U.S. institutions of higher education.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given over 400,000 passionate and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to important international problems.

In the United States, the Institute of International Education administers and coordinates activities relevant to the Fulbright Student Program and Fulbright Scholar Program.

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Fulbright Program

CSB and SJU students interested in applying for a Fulbright Award for the 2022-23 academic year should contact Phil Kronebusch, professor of political science and coordinator of Competitive Fellowships at CSB and SJU, or Lindsey Gutsch, assistant director of the Academic Center for Excellence and Success at CSB/SJU.