Saint Michael’s College recognized as a top producer of Fulbright U.S. students 

February 13, 2024
Elizabeth Murray
Associate Director of Public Relations

COLCHESTER, VT – The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has recognized Saint Michael’s College for being one of the colleges and universities with the highest number of students selected for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  

Four students from Saint Michael’s were selected for Fulbright awards for the academic year 2023-24. They are currently involved in programs in Thailand, Vietnam, Spain, and Mexico. This is the second time the College has been recognized as a Fulbright Top Producing Institution.  

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international academic exchange program. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided over 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds with the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research abroad. Fulbrighters exchange ideas, build people-to-people connections, and work to address complex global challenges.  

“We are immensely honored and humbled to receive this recognition, which is a testament to Saint Michael’s steadfast commitment to global education and service,” said Saint Michael’s President Richard Plumb, Ph.D. “The Fulbright program has allowed our graduates to bring these values fostered at Saint Michael’s to countries and cultures thousands of miles from our Vermont campus. It is truly remarkable to witness the continued impact our graduates are having on the world.”  

Saint Michael’s recent success in placing students in international programs, like the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, is largely due to the official establishment of the College’s Center for Global Engagement in 2021. The Center serves as the collaborative hub of international activity at Saint Michael’s, promoting global learning and literacy, deepening inter-cultural competency and inclusion, and supporting opportunities for global engagement for students, faculty, staff, alumni and local community members.   


Professor Jeffrey Ayres

“We’re starting to see consistent success with programs like Fulbright because the Center is helping build a culture of global learning and understanding on campus,” said Center Director Professor Jeffrey Ayres, the Chair of the Political Science and International Relations Department at Saint Michael’s. “International education gives students the tools to think critically and empathetically, act equitably, and ultimately be better citizens and leaders. Students are leveraging the global experiences and lessons gained through Saint Michael’s to make a difference in their own communities and beyond.”  

Applicants to the Fulbright program at Saint Michael’s are supported by Political Science and International Relations Professor Patricia Siplon, who also directs the Public Health Program. Siplon and Ayres are also part of the five-member Saint Michael’s faculty committee – comprised of former Fulbright winners – who vet students during the application process.  

“Fulbright awards are life-changing opportunities for our students who are passionate about global issues and continuing their international education after graduating from Saint Michael’s,” Siplon said. “From helping teach English to conducting important and groundbreaking research, Saint Michael’s grads have been able to make their own mark on the world through the Fulbright program too. We have been so proud to see so many graduates be able to emerge from our small liberal arts institution and have such a profound impact.”   


Professor Patricia Siplon

Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program.   

Fulbright alumni work to make a positive impact on their communities, sectors, and the world and have included 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who build mutual understanding between the people of the United State and the people of other countries.    

“Fulbright’s Top Producing Institutions represent the diversity of America’s higher education community,” said Lee Satterfield, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. “Dedicated administrators support students and scholars at these institutions to fulfill their potential and rise to address tomorrow’s global challenges. We congratulate them, and all the Fulbrighters who are making an impact the world over.”  

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit 

More information about the Saint Michael’s Center for Global Engagement can be found at 

About Saint Michael’s College 

Saint Michael’s College, founded on principles of social justice and leading lives of purpose and consequence, is a selective, Catholic college just outside Burlington, Vermont, one of the country’s best college towns. Located between the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain, our closely connected community guarantees housing all four years and delivers internationally respected liberal arts together with an innovative Purposeful Learning Program, preparing students for fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. Young adults here grow intellectually, socially, and morally, learning to be responsible for themselves, each other, and their world.  

Media contact: Associate Director of Public Relations Elizabeth Murray,

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