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S U M M E R 2 0 1 7 U o f L M A G A Z I N E | 1 1 H A P P E N I N G H E R E NEWS & IMPACT UofL earns kudos as Fulbright powerhouse Let's say you are 18 years old. You've been accepted into several colleges. It's time to choose. There are many good reasons to choose UofL, but one of the best is the success of the university's Fulbright candidates. For the third time in a decade, UofL has made the "Chronicle of Higher Education's" list as a top producer of Fulbright awards, one of the most prestigious scholarships in academia. What's more, UofL had the highest success rate among U.S. research universities on the 2016-2017 annual list. From a pool of 30 applicants, 50 percent won the award. "Our campus culture has become well-attuned to identifying and mentoring top scholars," said interim President Greg Postel. "By earning this distinction, UofL is on par with some of the nation's most esteemed universities." Since 2003, there have been 104 UofL Fulbright scholars — more than all other Kentucky public universities combined. The university set a record last year with 15 scholars, besting the previous record of 14 scholars in 2010 and again in 2011. "Our students, alumni, faculty, staff and community have all been enthusiastic about spreading the word about the Fulbrights," said Patricia Condon, who heads the university's National and International Scholarship Opportunities office. "That word-of- mouth endorsement has been powerful. We even have prospective students asking specifically about the Fulbright Award and how they can prepare for it." Jeannelle Sears, a 2005 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in anthropology, earned a Fulbright to Egypt the year of her graduation. She says the university's success as a Fulbright producer is important. "It shows the strength of all of our liberal arts programs — and our other departments and schools — in our ability to prepare candidates for this type of work and to compete," Sears said in a video about the program. "It's a Fulbright culture that is so unique it's nationally recognized," said Condon. "People come here and want to know, 'What is it that you do to have such an amazing success rate?'" RESEARCH & ACADEMICS MCCONNELL CENTER ENJOYS RECORD YEAR, ATTRACTS KENTUCKY'S BEST AND BRIGHTEST The McConnell Center is celebrating its 26th year with a record-breaking number of applicants, drawing a 26 percent increase over last year and 83 percent jump when compared to a similar pool five years ago. "We have always had outstanding students interested in being McConnell Scholars, but now we are clearly a desired scholar- ship for top students in Kentucky who were not even considering joining the University of Louisville 10 years ago" said Gary Gregg, director of the McConnell Center. Thirty finalists com- peted for just 10 scholar- ships this spring, with the average applicant posting an average 4.18 GPA and an average 30-plus ACT score. According to the center, the ability to draw some of the state's best students can be connected to their past recruiting successes. For example, the center's 2016 class included freshmen Dasha Kolyaskina and Jasper Noble, who were the only UofL underclassmen to advance to the American Moot Court Association's (AMCA) national tournament last year. Moot court competitions are known for their intensity, which makes the freshmen's final-eight regional finish and national appearance even more impressive, according to UofL law school alumnus and team coach Neil Salyer. The regional tourna- ment also saw two UofL students place in the top 15 in the oral arguments category, with Robert Gassman placing ninth and Alicia Humphrey finishing 11th out of 76 competitors. The center's moot court program was also ranked in the top 20 nationally by the AMCA earlier this year. U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell speaks at a McConnell Center event. Five students were named 2017-18 Fulbright Scholars. Pictured from left are Hannah Touchton, Jeremy Ball, Dzemila Bilanovic and Hung Ryan Vuong. Not pictured is James Logan Zechella. Kolyaskina & Noble

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