Nine Fullbright awards earned by Oregon State University faculty


Jess Hume-Pantuso

Professor Gregory Rorrer poses in his office in Gleason Hall at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore on July 11, 2022.

Sam Misa, News Contributor

In the past five years Oregon State University has seen 27 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program awards go to its staff, with nine of those awards being from 2022 alone.

In 2022, OSU exceeded the number of awards to be considered a “top producing” university by three. This makes OSU one of the top institutions to go as a researcher.

For most of the 2022 awardees of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Award, OSU either directly or indirectly helped them with earning their awards.

The Fulbright US Scholar Program is well known amongst researchers as being ‘the award’ for scholars in the United States, according to one 2022 OSU recipient of the award, Bogdan Strimbu.

For Strimbu, who will be working in his home country Romania on forest modeling, he knew about the program since before he came to the United States.

However, it wasn’t until Strimbu came to Oregon State University that he applied for the Fulbright award. This was in spite of Strimbu having worked at another university, Louisiana Tech.

The reason for Strimbu applying and receiving his award now instead of before at LSU was because OSU was simply better for researchers trying to get a Fulbright award.

“At Louisiana Tech, I was teaching five courses a year,” Strimbu said. “Here, I am teaching three.”

According to Strimbu, this meant that there was less time spent teaching and more time available to conduct research during school years.

That difference allowed him to conduct more high-end research that put him ahead of his competition.

“I would have had less opportunities in conducting high-end research at Louisiana Tech, than Oregon State, which means [Louisiana Tech] would have made me less competitive,” Strimbu said.

Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering professor Greg Rorrer also found OSU helpful in applying for the Fulbright award he earned this year as well.

“There’s a mechanism where you can, as a faculty member, take a leave of absence and work in the federal government,” Rorrer said. “The federal government pays your salary, but you maintain your position here, you just don’t get paid by OSU, per se.”

For two of the other 2022 OSU Fulbright Scholars, OSU staff went as far as directly helping them with their application processes.

“When I started looking into the application process for a Fulbright, Julie Walkin, an International Program Manager in the Office of Global Opportunities, gave me a lot of helpful advice on the initial stages,” said OSU Associate Professor of Materials Science, Melissa Santala.

According to Santala, OSU has a great community of Fulbright awardees that helped her get her own Fulbright award to work in Israel in Materials Science.

Professor Jerri Bartholomew found similar help when she was completing her application to work in fish parasitology work in Spain.

“The international office was helpful in supplying me with information about what these scholarships were about,” Bartholomew said. “I had to be interviewed by a professor in the language department so that my Spanish speaking skills could be evaluated. So I think there was some internal support.”

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