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More Fulbright scholarships for UC than any other university

University of Canterbury receives more Fulbright scholarships than any other university

June 24, 2014

The University of Canterbury received 10 of the 26 percent of the Fulbright scholarships, more than any other university, announced at Parliament House tonight.

Ten of the 26 Fulbright awards, for postgraduate students to study and research at top universities in the United States, have been awarded to Canterbury. Previous Fulbright scholars include Pulitzer Prize winners, heads of state and Nobel Prize winners.

Canterbury’s Distinguished Professor Geoff Chase says the results reflect the new University of Canterbury student profile and commitment by the university to be far more international.

“In all cases it shows we are producing graduates able to compete and get into the very best schools. The schools and places and unis our students are going to are all top flight. This demonstrates that nearly four years after the earthquakes, Canterbury is punching above its weights.

“Historically, Fulbrights have been more about arts and sciences but for various reasons this time we have a strong engineering contingent, which reflects the Government’s funding support for our recovery and expansion in all areas reflecting the nature of post-quake work and research.

“Engineering and technology are increasingly of international importance and we are showing substantial leadership in these areas. The span of schools and disciplines of students who won awards shows the all-round complete university aspect of the University of Canterbury. We are not just specialists in a few things but we cover such a wide field of academic endeavour.

The university’s Fulbright representative Dr Clemency Montelle says the Fulbright awards are not given on the basis of academic merit alone.

“Students must also have ambassadorial qualities, show all-round high achievement, they must be leaders, community minded and be of the calibre that can make a splash overseas in academics and beyond,” Dr Montelle says.

Canterbury engineering honours student Max Ferguson received a $33,000 Fulbright scholarship in natural disaster research. This award is for a promising New Zealand graduate student to undertake postgraduate study or research at a US institution in the field of natural disaster research.

Ferguson, from Christchurch, will complete a Master of Science degree in civil engineering, specialising in structural and geotechnical engineering, at Stanford University in Stanford, California.

The other University of Canterbury Fulbright scholars announced tonight are:

Ben Cameron from Waikanae will complete a Master of Science degree in civil engineering, specialising in fluid mechanics of human-human pathogen transport, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ben graduated with a BE (Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 2014.

George Donald from Auckland will complete a Master of Science degree in applied physics, at Columbia University in New York. Donald graduated with a BE (Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 2013.

Jamee Elder from Christchurch will complete a PhD in the history and philosophy of science, specialising in the philosophy of physics, at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. Elder graduated with a BSc and a BA (Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 2012, and is currently completing an Master Philosophy at the University of Cambridge.

James Graham from Christchurch will complete a PhD in economics, specialising in causes of exchange rate fluctuations and their macroeconomic consequences for small open economies, at New York University. Graham graduated with a BCom and a BA (Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 2010, and is currently at Victoria University of Wellington.

Rebecca Gray from Auckland will complete a PhD in mechanical and aerospace engineering, specialising in dynamic systems and control engineering, at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. Gray graduated with a BE (Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 2013.

Tom Logan from Napier will complete a PhD in environmental engineering, specialising in urban and infrastructure sustainability, reliability, and resilience, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Logan obtained a BE (Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 2013 and is currently completing a BSc there.

David Wright from Rangiora will complete a Master of Science degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, specialising in control and actuation systems, at Stanford University in Stanford, California. Wright graduated with a BE (Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 2014.

George Hampton from Christchurch will complete a Master of Public Administration degree in economic policy management, at Columbia University in New York. Hampton graduated with a BA (Hons) in 2004 and an LLB in 2005 from the University of Canterbury.

Ara Tai Rākena from Christchurch will complete a Master of Science in foreign service and international relations, specialising in politics and security, at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Rakena graduated with a BA (Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 2006.


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