BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University Bloomington has been named a top producer for both the Fulbright U.S. Student and U.S. Scholar programs for academic year 2022-23, as announced by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This honor is shared by only nine doctoral research universities in the U.S. and reflects IU’s commitment to global research and learning.
Thirteen IU Bloomington students and six IU Bloomington faculty members were offered Fulbright awards for this academic year. The lists of top-producing institutions appeared in the Feb. 10 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.
“These exceptional students and scholars join Indiana University’s nearly 45-year history and legacy of producing Fulbright awardees,” said IU President Pamela Whitten. “We are immensely proud of their accomplishments and grateful for the commitment our Fulbright students and scholars demonstrate to strengthening global economic, civic and cultural engagement — for IU and our state.”
Among the 2022-23 student recipients is IU alumnus Andres Ayala, who has been awarded an English Teaching Assistant Award from the Fulbright Program and has been living and teaching in Chetumal, Mexico. Ayala said he became interested in pursuing a Fulbright in Mexico after working with undocumented individuals from Mexico and Central American who were in removal proceedings at an immigration law office in Indianapolis. He saw the Fulbright as an opportunity to correct cultural and legal misunderstandings that the immigrant communities often have about coming to the U.S.
Another student recipient, Brett Umlauf, is a recent graduate of the Jacobs School of Music and studies early music voice. She was awarded a Fulbright grant to travel to Greece and Turkey and study the life and works of Kassia, an ancient Byzantine-Greek female composer.
During her time in the Aegean, Umlauf has made music with female chanters in Thessaloniki, lived in a female monastery, traveled to the remote island of Kasos to investigate a legend that Kassia is buried there, and is now in Istanbul working with local artists to engage new audiences with Kassia’s story and works.
“The composer Kassia (also known as Kassiani) is the only Kassiani I knew of until, while living in an Orthodox women’s monastery, I was introduced to Sister Kassiani,” Umlauf said. “She seemed to take delight in my delight at her name, and we became fast friends. I learned that her special duty at the monastery is to gather as many images of icons as she can find.
“Her image library serves as a reference for the sisters who paint icons. There is evidence that the composer Kassia was a staunch defender of icons during her life. I was tickled that my modern-day nun friend Sister Kassiani was, in a way, continuing her namesake’s work.”
The six IU Bloomington faculty who received Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards this year represent a range of disciplines including geology, journalism, religious studies and international relations. IU Fulbright scholars’ research projects span three continents and include countries like Italy, India, Poland and Japan.
Scholars from IU Kokomo, IUPUC, IU South Bend and IUPUI have also been awarded Fulbright grants for this academic year. A full list of IU’s Fulbright U.S. Scholar awardees was published in July.
Fulbright is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Since its inception in 1946, more than 400,000 recent university graduates, teachers, scientists, researchers, artists and others have participated in the Fulbright Program.
Students who are interested in pursuing a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant should contact their respective adviser, which can be found on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website.