Anaflor Bernal was selected to be a Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistant in Brazil - Photo Courtesy of UTEP

UTEP Named 2022 HSI Leader by Fulbright Program

Today, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs commended The University of Texas at El Paso as a Fulbright HSI Leader.

This designation recognizes the noteworthy engagement that selected Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) have achieved with the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.

Fulbright HSI Leader status has been conferred on 43 HSIs, including UTEP, because they have demonstrated noteworthy engagement with Fulbright exchange participants during the 2021-22 academic year and have promoted Fulbright Program opportunities on campus.

“Most of our students have grown up in a bilingual, binational community. The Fulbright is a good fit for our exceptional students,” UTEP President Heather Wilson said. “The best students at UTEP can compete with the best students anywhere. We are happy to support them as they explore opportunities like the Fulbright.”

In a letter to President Wilson congratulating UTEP on the distinction, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken wrote that “[The] University of Texas at El Paso exemplifies a deep commitment to international exchange and to building lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

UTEP students and alumni submitted a record 23 Fulbright applications in 2022 after UTEP held the first-ever summer boot camp advising program. This program was launched by the Office of Student Fellowships and Awards, and is designed to guide applicants through the process of crafting the most competitive application possible. UTEP faculty have also hosted numerous Fulbright researchers from overseas, and have received awards of their own to study or conduct research abroad.

UTEP established the Office of Student Fellowships and Awards in 2019 after an evening information session about graduate fellowships like the Fulbright, Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Mitchell, Schwarzman and other similar scholarships attracted over 900 interested students.

President Wilson was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, attended graduate school at Oxford University in England and has served for many years on Rhodes and Schwarzman Scholarship selection committees.

“I was thrilled to receive the news that UTEP has been designated a Fulbright HSI Leader,” said Jen Green, UTEP director of national and international fellowships and awards. “The Office of Student Fellowships and Awards is building a campus culture in which our students are more actively pursuing nationally competitive opportunities like Fulbright, and this honor will be a cornerstone of those efforts.”

Recent Fulbright Award recipients at UTEP include Aylin Duarte, a native of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, who is a U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistant in Argentina; and Anaflor Bernal, who was awarded a U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistantship in Brazil.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international academic exchange program. Since its inception over 75 years ago, the Fulbright Program has given over 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to complex international challenges.


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