Grinnell College Has Been Named a Top Producer of Fulbright U.S. Students

Published: February 22, 2022, by Grinnell College’s Office of Communications.

Grinnell is proud to be named one of the U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2021-2022 Fulbright U.S. Students. Each year the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announces the top producing institutions for the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. The Chronicle of Higher Education publishes the lists annually. 


Four Grinnellians received Fulbright Grants for the 2021-2022 academic year while due to the travel delays from the COVID-19 pandemic four previous recipients also departed on their journeys.  

“Grinnell’s commitment to intellectual curiosity, global understanding, critical thinking, and the exchange of ideas is a strong foundation for success in receiving these awards,” said Ann Landstrom, assistant dean and director of global fellowships and awards in the CLS. “Our alumni return, having made a distinct impact upon the communities they serve, and having had transformative experiences that prepare them for the next steps of their professional lives.” 

Fulbright grantees meet, work, and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction in the classroom, office space, research lab or field in relationship to specific projects, while very importantly in the community and through daily life experiences. This allows for grantees to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think, to foster mutual understanding and exchange. 

Grinnell College’s recent Fulbright grantees are engaging in research, study, and teaching in Argentina, Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Spain, Slovak Republic, and Taiwan: 

  • Valencia Alvarez ’20, biology major with a Latin American studies concentration, is in Mexico supporting classroom English language learning at the university level. 
  • Sasha Baumann ’17, psychology and Spanish double major, recently departed for Brazil where she is conducting research on the “Drivers and Determinants of Disparities in Obstetric Services in Brazil.” 
  • Evelyn Berryhill ’20, anthropology major and linguistics concentrator, is working in the Slovak Republic with secondary-level students on English language competency and also teaching American studies, literature, arts, and political science. 
  • Benjamin Binversie ’17, history major and policy studies concentrator, is departing this March for Argentina to work with university-level students who are studying to become English teachers. 
  • Anjali Jain ’21, theater and dance major, will be departing in April for the Fulbright-Nehru research/study grant in India where she will be learning methods of Hand-block printing from generational printers and studying the ways in which the art form has been archived. 
  • Lana Katai ’21, Chinese and English double major, is assisting local English teachers in elementary and junior high schools and consulting with teachers on American cultural issues and educational materials in Taiwan. 
  • Sophie Neems ’16, anthropology and Spanish double major, studied Spanish farmers’ perceptions of climate change, the factors — such as one’s place-based identity — that influence these perceptions, and the effect these perceptions have on farmers’ decisions to employ climate-smart agricultural practices in Spain from May to December 2021. 
  • Kathryn Perry ’20, history and German double major with a linguistics concentration, is in Germany assistant teaching American studies and English language to students at all pre-university levels.  

The Fulbright competition is administered at Grinnell College through the Global Fellowships and Awards program in the Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS). The application process is beginning for a 2023-2024 grant year, and Ann Landstrom invites current students and alumni to visit with her about the opportunities in over 140 countries. 

About the Fulbright Program and Top Producer Awards  

“We congratulate the colleges and universities we are honoring as 2021-2022 Fulbright Top Producing Institutions and are especially delighted to celebrate the institutions that achieved this distinction for the first time this year. These institutions reflect the geographic and institutional diversity of higher education in the United States, and include Minority-Serving Institutions” said Ethan Rosenzweig, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  

“We thank the leadership of these institutions for supporting their faculty advisors and administrators, who are instrumental in guiding their students through the Fulbright application process. We know that U.S. institutions benefit from having their students represent their campus overseas, which often fosters reciprocal exchanges that in turn help further internationalize U.S. campuses.” 

The Fulbright Program was established over 75 years ago to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  

Since its inception in 1946, over 400,000 people from all backgrounds—recent university graduates, teachers, scientists and researchers, artists, and more—have participated in the Fulbright Program and returned to their home countries with an expanded worldview, a deep appreciation for their host country and its people, and a new network of colleagues and friends. 

Fulbright alumni work to make a positive impact on their communities, sectors, and the world and have included 40 heads of state or government, 61 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 76 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who carry forward the Fulbright mission of enhancing mutual understanding.   

Fulbright is active in more than 160 countries worldwide and partners with participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States. Many of these organizations also provide direct and indirect support. ECA sponsors the Fulbright program, and several nonprofit, cooperative partners implement and support the program on the Bureau’s behalf. For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit

By Ann Landstrom
Ann Landstrom Assistant Dean & Director of Global Fellowships & Awards