The Fulbright Top Producer emblem is laid over a photo of Bertrand Library

Bucknell Named Fulbright Scholar Top-producing Institution

February 10, 2023

by Kate Williard

Professor Emily Martin, music, and Diane Jakacki, digital scholarship coordinator, were named Fulbright Scholars. Bucknell tied for second place among baccalaureate institutions. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications

For the second straight year, Bucknell University has been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This recognition is given to the U.S. colleges and universities with the highest number of 2022-23 Fulbright Scholars. Fulbright Scholars are faculty, researchers and administrators chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential.

Bucknell’s most recent awardees, Professor Emily Martin, music, and Diane Jakacki, digital scholarship coordinator, are currently pursuing international research projects as part of the prestigious program. Fulbright, the U.S. government's flagship educational exchange initiative, enables faculty and administrators to conduct research and teaching activities around the world. By pursuing their professional passions, Fulbright Scholars return to their institutions with enhanced skills, new perspectives and even more global insight that benefits their students.

"Bucknell's repeated recognition as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars serves as a testament to the caliber of faculty and staff at Bucknell," says Provost Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak. "Our students are able to thrive in a challenging learning community because of the way they are encouraged toward discovery and global understanding by educators who are curious learners themselves."

The Fulbright program furthers Bucknell's efforts to instill global perspectives in its students. Bucknell's robust study abroad programs, travel fellowship and research opportunities, and an academic focus on global education help students develop cultural literacy.

Martin's Fulbright scholarship enables her to spend a year teaching American and Canadian art song to voice students at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague in the Netherlands. She is part of a specific program that is only housed at three other conservatories in the world. "In a lot of European conservatories, because English is not their first language, they tend to focus on very traditional Western canon classical music: Mozart, Schubert, Schumann," she says. "But they don't have a lot of experience and exposure to American or Canadian art song." Martin's work exposes students to these new sounds and explains their history.

Martin is also performing during her year abroad; she's traveling to sing in Iceland, Vienna and London. With all that Fulbright has made possible for her, she's especially excited about how the experience will enhance her teaching back on campus. "The thing I'm looking more forward to, more than anything, is just re-energizing my creativity and coming up with new ideas to bring back."

Jakacki is serving as the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Digital Humanities at the University of Guelph in Ontario, where she is examining early modern performance events and linked open data. Partnering with the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory and Linked Infrastructure for Networked Cultural Scholarship, Jakacki is working with REED London, a digital database that contains archival documents — including eyewitness accounts and legal records — about London musical and theatrical performances that took place between 1200-1650.

She is creating infrastructure that will enable scholars to better access information that will expand their understanding of specific societies, practices and events. "This Fulbright scholarship is allowing me to tackle the really hard questions a lot of us have been addressing when we're thinking about digital humanities and linked data — the idea of what determines an event from both a broad and granular perspective," she says. "My work will bring value to other scholars by creating parameters that help define and record these events."It's one of the most exciting things about the Fulbright. The work I'm doing can be applied and extrapolated, and other researchers can use these concepts that I am thinking about."

In addition to Martin and Jakacki's awards, three Bucknell alumni received Fulbright grants, which enable recent graduates to study, teach or conduct research abroad.

Portraits of students Giuliana Ferrara, Genevieve Block, and Lily Shorney

Giuliana Ferrara '22, Genevieve Block '22 and Lily Shorney '22 are Bucknell's 2022 student Fulbright Award winners. Photos by Emily Paine, Communications

  • With a desire to develop deeper global literacy, Giuliana Ferrara '22 took her interest in cultural awareness and her experience having studied European refugee policies to Ghent in Belgium, where she is working as an English teaching assistant at Ghent University.
  • Genevieve Block '22 is serving as an English teaching assistant in the city of Bucaramanga in the Santander region of Colombia. During her time abroad, she is also dedicating time to learning about successful health care systems and policy reform.
  • Lily Shorney '22 hopes to gain a greater understanding of how music supports the mental health of children and adolescents. Her Fulbright appointment is in Chrudim, a small town about an hour outside of Prague, Czech Republic, where she is serving as an English teaching assistant.

The U.S. 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. While 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, it benefits from additional support from foreign partner governments, non-governmental organizations, private organizations, corporate partnerships and individual donors. Importantly, U.S. and foreign host institutions provide support as well.

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