Butler University has once again been recognized as a Fulbright Top Producing Institution for U.S. Students by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This recognition is given to U.S. colleges and universities that received the highest number of applicants selected for the 2022-23 Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Three students and alumni from Butler University were selected for Fulbright awards for the academic year 2022-2023. Butler was first recognized with this distinction in the 2015-2016 academic year and also was a top-producing institution last year. Since 2004, Butler has had more than 20 students and alumni selected as Fulbright scholars.

The most recent cohort of Butler’s Fulbright scholars has already begun their projects and assignments. 

Emory Lietz ’22 (Science, Technology, and Society and Spanish) currently is completing his Fulbright Program as an English Teaching Assistant in Mexico City, Mexico. After enrolling at Butler in the Exploratory Studies program, Lietz quickly found faculty mentors in Dr. Elise Edwards, Dr. Jesse Van Garvin, and Dr. Lucci Reister, who later inspired Lietz to pursue majors in Science, Technology, and Society and Spanish. During his time at Butler, Lietz also completed the honors program, focusing his thesis on bicycling in the city of Indianapolis. Lietz learned of the Fulbright Program after his close friend and fraternity brother was selected as an English Teaching Assistant in Taiwan. While in Mexico City, Lietz has been teaching English and American Culture at a preparatory high school. Aside from his work in the classroom, Lietz has also had the opportunity to work with a professor to create English Teaching materials and recordings to allow for more authentic English language instruction. Upon completion of his program, Lietz plans to pursue a master’s degree in urban planning.

Raziya Hillery ’22 (Political Science, International Studies, and Spanish) has recently begun her program as an English Teaching Assistant at the University of Technology and Engineering (UTEC) in Lima, Peru. After spending a semester abroad in Butler’s faculty-led Semester in Spain Program, Hillery was certain she wanted to continue exploring the world of international and global affairs. With encouragement from Dr. Mordini, her advisor, and Provost Brooke Barnett, Hillery decided to pursue the program as a way to continue experiencing other cultures and life abroad. As a Spanish major, she focused specifically on Spanish-speaking countries to further her language skills. Hillery is one of six other English Teaching Assistants throughout Peru and is the only Fulbright Scholar in Lima. Aside from teaching at the university level, Hillery will conduct research on a supplementary project that focuses on how the country of Peru responded to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Peruvian population’s use of botanical and traditional medicine, especially amongst the growing Afro-Peruvian population. 

Sarah Monesmith ’22 (Health Sciences) is currently contributing to ovarian cancer research in Bologna, Italy. After completing extensive research as a student in biochemistry in Professor Geoffrey Hoops’ undergraduate lab, Monesmith knew she was passionate about research and was excited about the opportunity to do so abroad. Monesmith’s research award has allowed her to contribute to an ongoing project, The Molecular Characterization of Extracellular Vesicles in Ovarian Cancer Cells, that examines RNA markers in cells of metastasized ovarian cancer patients, alongside a team of study directors, PhD students, and other biomedical researchers. Monesmith will return to the United States in the summer of 2023 to pursue a Master’s in Public Health at Vanderbilt University before pursuing a medical degree.

Established more than 75 years ago, The Fulbright Program is the U.S. Government’s flagship international educational exchange program, designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Since its inception in 1946, more than 400,000 participants from all backgrounds and fields—including recent university graduates, teachers, scientists, researchers, artists, and others, from the United States and over 160 other countries—have participated in the Fulbright Program. Fulbright alumni have returned to their home countries to make an impact on their communities thanks to their expanded worldview, a deep appreciation for their host country and its people, and a larger network of colleagues and friends.

“On behalf of President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken, congratulations to the colleges and universities recognized as 2022-2023 Fulbright Top Producing Institutions, and to all the applicants who were selected for the Fulbright Program this year,” Lee Satterfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, said. “Thanks to the visionary leadership of these institutions, administrators, and advisors, a new generation of Fulbrighters—changemakers, as I like to say—will catalyze lasting impact on their campus, in their communities, and around the world.” 

Applicants must complete a lengthy application process that consists of a personal statement, a statement of grant purpose, a language evaluation, and an interview process. For students who may be considering applying to the Fulbright Program, our scholars unanimously agree that it is worth the time and effort and encourage you to be confident in your application and candidacy. Butler students who are interested in applying will work alongside Professor Zachary Scarlett, Director of Prestigious Fellowships and Scholarships, in the Engaged Learning Center.

 For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit fulbrightprogram.org