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April 2016

Fulbright Winner Sean Reilly atop East Sierra mountain

Fulbright Winner Sean Reilly atop East Sierra mountain

Santa Clara University Announces Fourth Year in Top Tier of Fulbright Scholarship Wins

Three students and an alumna have won elite Fulbright scholarships, putting SCU on track for a 4th "Top Producer" status

Four Broncos are heading to the Czech Republic, Morocco, Ghana and Australia for Fulbright study or teaching.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 25, 2016—For the fourth year in a row, Santa Clara University has produced an elite level of Fulbright Students — a feat achieved by fewer than 5 percent of similar Universities nationwide.

Three Santa Clara University seniors and one 2015 alumna have been offered Fulbright scholarship grants to study or teach abroad during the 2016–17 academic year. With this year’s announcement, SCU is on track to earn its fourth designation as a Fulbright “Top Producer” of elite scholarship winners.

The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote about last year’s Fulbright Top Producers, including SCU.

“I extend my warmest congratulations to Santa Clara University’s outstanding Fulbright Students,” said University President Michael Engh, S.J.  “Their accomplishments are all directed to making the global community a better place.  I also applaud their faculty and mentors who played such important roles in their education  as ‘men and women for others’ in the tradition of SCU’s Jesuit ideals.”

The students will travel to the Czech Republic, Morocco, Ghana, and Australia for projects ranging from teaching English to conducting research on social entrepreneurship, health-program enrollment issues, and invasive plants.

“Santa Clara University is extremely proud of the array of students who are applying for and winning Fulbright Scholarships,” said Leilani Miller, director of the University Honors Program. “These Fulbright awards, as well as our Schwarzman and Udall awards earlier this year, are a tribute to these students’ academic achievements, as well as to the rigor, enthusiasm, and creativity with which each student embraced amazing opportunities they were offered at SCU – from global social entrepreneurship research to advanced ecological studies to issues in global health.”

The SCU Fulbright winners for the 2015–16 academic year are:

 Lindsey Allen, a senior political science major with minors in communication and Arabic, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies.. She will travel to Morocco to create a typology for social entrepreneurship as an economic growth strategy and as a way to develop “human capital” for social change. The ultimate goal is to overcome gaps in understanding between Moroccan entrepreneurs, policymakers, and academia. At SCU Allen, 21 years old from Oak Park, Illinois, went to Tanzania and Uganda as a Global Social Benefit Fellow, which she describes as a transformative experience. She also was part of Model United Nations and studied abroad in Morocco, where she conducted field research that won first place in SCU’s Study Abroad Undergraduate Research Award program. As a senior, she won the Amos Dana Award for Distinction in Public Service from the Department of Political Science.

Clara Cushing, a senior classics and English double major, will be an English teaching assistant in the Czech Republic. Cushing, a 21-year-old from Monterey, has three years of experience as an ESL tutor, using American literature as a way to help her students understand American culture of the past and present. She chose the Czech Republic as a way to gain a new perspective on Europe and to reconnect with her family history, as the descendant of emigres. At SCU, she studied abroad in Rome and has worked in the University's writing resource center since Fall 2013. A former member of SCU’s swim club, Cushing has been vice president of the Classical Honors Society and received the University’s Presidential Award and the Nina Leibman Essay Award.

Senior Sean Reilly, an environmental and biology major, will travel to Queensland, Australia to track and study efforts to remove “pond apple,” an invasive fruit tree that spreads aggressively outside its native range and can smother native species. He will be working with Mandingalbay Yidinji Aborigines and Djunbunji rangers. Reilly, a 22-year-old San Jose native, is president of SCU’s Grass Roots Environmental Efforts Now (GREEN) Club, and an avid rock climber who has conducted research with Environmental Studies and Sciences professor Hari Mix, on the dynamics of “atmospheric river” storms. His work in 2014, studying the impact of indigenous tourism with the School for Field Studies (SFS) Center for Rainforest Studies, won one of six nationwide SFS Distinguished Student Researcher awards for 2014. Reilly  was chosen for the 2015 Student Sustainability Champion Award from the Center for Sustainability. He has been recognized on the dean’s list and by multiple honor societies.

Alumna Stephanie Goodman, ’15, was a public health science and political science double major. A native of Kirkland, Washington, she will go to Ghana to evaluate the effect of enrollment in Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme on trauma-related mortality, and examine impediments to enrollment. While at SCU Goodman was a campus EMT, and worked as a research assistant to political science professor Naomi Levy through the grant-funded Minerva Initiative, focused on the process of establishing peace after a national conflict. She spent a summer as a Global Fellow in Ghana, which inspired her Fulbright project. She spent a semester at American University, studying peace and conflict resolution, including a trip to Bosnia and Jordan to observe the effects of international participation in establishing peace.

An additional student was also chosen as a Fulbright alternate, meaning he will be able to pursue his scholarship if others cannot accept:

  • Joseph Alexander-Short, a 2014 religious studies major and international studies, communication, and political science minor, applied with a project in El Salvador working with youth and film.


About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. 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, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. For further information please visit

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering; master’s degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry, and theology; and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | Media Relations | | 408-554-5121

Recent Headlines

CLIMBING EVER HIGHER: Avid rock climber and SCU scholar Sean Reilly is one of four Broncos chosen as Fulbright Students for the 2016-17 year.  Photo from Hari Mix,