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Pomona College Among Top Producers of U.S. Fulbrights Among Bachelor’s Institutions

Pomona College is among the liberal arts colleges with the highest number of Fulbrights awarded to its graduating class, with the Class of 2013 receiving 16 of the prestigious awards. The Fulbright totals for “Top Producers of U.S. Fulbright Students by Type of Institution, 2013-14” were published in the October 28, 2013, edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

For the Class of 2013, Pitzer College, with 22 Fulbrights, led the group of Bachelor’s Institutions, followed by Smith College with 21. Pomona and Oberlin tied at third with 16. Next were College of the Holy Cross and Williams (both with 14), followed by Scripps, Bates, Bowdoin, Kenyon and Swarthmore all tied with 9 Fulbrights. Claremont McKenna had seven Fulbrights and Harvey Mudd had one, bringing the Fulbright total for the Claremont Colleges to 55, more than any research university.

Pomona College has long been a leader among colleges and universities in Fulbright recipients. Over the past five years (Classes of 2009-2013), Pomona graduates have received 71 Fulbrights. In the last 10 years, 135 graduates have received Fulbright Fellowships.

Pomona’s Class of 2013 Fulbright recipients are conducting research all over the world. They are studying: 

  • the microbiomes of marsupials in Australia, 
  • chemistry in Germany,
  • business in Mexico,
  • solar energy policy in Germany,
  • geology in New Zealand,
  • the Bantu language Kihehe in Tanzania,
  • immunology on graft-versus-host disease,
  • water sanitation in Peru,
  • and the effectiveness of Teach for Malaysia,
  • as well as research in South Korea.

They are also teaching English in Brazil, Indonesia and Panama.

Behind these scholars are the faculty advisors. Theatre Professor Thomas Leabhart is the longest serving Fulbright advisor, having been involved for about 25 years. Also advising the Class of 2013 were Hans Rindisbacher, Gary Kates and Sharon Goto.

The current Fulbright advisors are professors Jack Abecassis, Judson Emerick, Sharon Goto, Gary Kates, Thomas Leabhart and Kyla Tompkins, as well as Jennifer Locke, director of graduate fellowships. Numerous faculty members also serve on interview committees each fall.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the United States Congress to the Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.  The Institute of International Education administers and coordinates the activities relevant to the U.S. Student Program.

Pomona College, founded in 1887, is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions and is known for the close relationships between faculty and staff and the wide range of student research and leadership opportunities available to students. Pomona is the founding member of the Claremont Colleges, a unique consortium that also includes Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, Scripps College, the Claremont Graduate School and Keck Graduate Institute.

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