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Two Eberly students earn Fulbright U.S. awards for 2022-23 academic year

14 July 2022

Penn State students and alumni—including two from the Eberly College of Science—will travel to all corners of the globe for the 2022–23 school year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. 

Each year, the U.S. Department of State works with its 140 partner countries to give graduating college seniors, graduate students and young professionals the opportunity to work, live and learn abroad. Grantees can earn either Open Study/Research Awards or English Teaching Assistant Awards. This year, 10 Penn Staters earned Fulbright U.S. Student Awards. 

Eberly students and their host countries are: 

  • Chloe Connor, major in psychology, College of the Liberal Arts, minors in global health, biology and bioethics and medical humanities, United Kingdom 
  • Siddhi Deshpande, major in biology, Eberly College of Science, minors in global health and world literature, India 

Siddhi Deshpande, of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, said this summer she will be working in Pune, India, with Pune University to understand the association between climate change and nutritional status among small-scale farmers in rural Maharashtra. She said she was “over the moon” when she learned she earned a Fulbright award. Since Deshpande speaks the local Marathi language, she knew early in her undergraduate career she wanted to go to India, where she was born and had spent time as a child.

“I felt so validated and honored that the Fulbright commission read my application and decided to take a chance on me,” Deshpande said. “Additionally, the idea of returning to India after living away for so long was doubly exciting.”

Her interest in environmental health led her to the Water, Health, and Nutrition Lab at Penn State, where she was mentored by graduate student Leslie Ford and faculty member Asher Rosinger, Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor in Global Health and director of the Water, Health, and Nutrition Lab.

“Fulbright funding of an environmental health project marks a step in the right direction, and enables me to help contribute in the effort to mitigate health impacts of climate change,” Deshpande said. “Additionally, coming from India, this award helps me do work which allows me to directly give back to my community.”

After completing her Fulbright award, she plans to attend medical school and earn a medical/master of public health degree.

About the Fulbright U.S. Student Program at Penn State

The Fulbright student finalists are among the approximately 2,100 U.S. citizens who earned funding to study, conduct research and teach abroad during the 2022–23 school year. Recipients are selected based on their academic and professional achievement, as well as their record of service and leadership potential. 

The Fulbright Program has provided more than 380,000 participants the opportunity to study abroad since its inception in 1946. The primary source of funding is appropriated by Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The participating governments and host institutions along with corporations and foundations also provide support. 

2023-24 application deadline is Aug. 12

At most Penn State campuses, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring under the direction of Caitlin Ting. The campus pre-application deadline for the upcoming 2023–24 cycle is set for Aug. 12. Students interested in learning more or applying are encouraged to schedule an appointment with a member of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring. 

Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring is part of Penn State Undergraduate Education. Sign up for the Undergraduate Education Headlines for the latest news.