USC Upstate Is A Top Producer of U.S. Fulbright Scholars

February 24, 2017 at 5:15 pm

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs recently announced the University of South Carolina Upstate as one of the U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2016-2017 Fulbright U.S. Scholars. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Top-producing institutions are highlighted annually in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of USC Upstate, being recognized among the top producers of Fulbright Scholars demonstrates our commitment to international education on our campus and abroad,” said Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., USC Upstate’s interim chancellor. “This program also allows our faculty to advance and showcase their research on the world stage.”

USC Upstate faculty members Vince Connors, Ph.D., and Allison Pingley, Ph.D., were awarded Fulbright grants for 2016-2017.

Connors, a professor of biology, traveled during the fall semester to the Slovak Republic to teach graduate seminars and classes in Symbiosis and Parasitism at Pavel Jozef Safarik University in Kosice. He also conducted research on fish parasitic diseases at the Slovak Academy of Science’s Institute of Parasitology.

Pingley, an associate professor of political science, taught two classes at Eötvös Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary during fall semester. She taught a bachelor’s course in contemporary issues of politics, and a master’s course in U.S. campaigns and elections.

The Fulbright Scholar Program selects and funds high achieving scholars who demonstrate commitment to international education exchange and fostering cultural understanding between the people of the United States and citizens of the host country.

Alexander Akulli, Ph.D., director of the Center for International Studies, said the role of a 21st century university is to prepare students for successful careers and “glocal” citizenship.

“Faculty international engagement is very important,” Akulli said. “It facilitates potentially transformative learning experiences and informs, in a deeper and more meaningful way, the faculty member’s classroom teaching, student mentoring, research agenda, and service to the community at large.”

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 370,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Over 1,100 U.S. college and university faculty and administrators, professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, and independent scholars are awarded Fulbright grants to teach and/or conduct research annually. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program operates in over 125 countries throughout the world.  Lists of Fulbright Scholar recipients are available at:

The Fulbright Program is funded through 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.

In the United States, the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars administers and coordinates the activities relevant to the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program on behalf of the Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the scholarships. The Fulbright Program also awards grants to U.S. students and teachers to conduct research and teach overseas. In addition, some 4,000 new foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study for graduate degrees, conduct research and teach foreign languages.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit

About USC Upstate

USC Upstate offers more than 40 bachelor’s degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and teacher education, and master’s degrees in education, informatics, and nursing. Among the fastest-growing universities in South Carolina, USC Upstate is a diverse and dynamic community of 6,000 students from across the Upstate, 36 states, and 15 countries. As a leading metropolitan universities in the Southeast, USC Upstate has its main campus in Spartanburg, two locations in Greenville, and a growing number of programs online.  The USC Upstate Spartans, which fields 17 varsity sports, compete on the NCAA Division I level as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. Nearly 26,000 alumni have earned degrees from USC Upstate and approximately 85 percent choose to remain in the Upstate region to build their lives and careers, making a significant impact of the region’s economy and quality of life. Learn more at