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University Recognized for Fulbright U.S. Scholars


By Sheryl E. Taylor

UHD experienced an unprecedented honor in the University’s history—four Fulbright Scholars were named in 2022, dubbed the “Fab Four.” As a result, the Fulbright Program has named the University of Houston-Downtown as a “Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Top Producing Institution” for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Being named a “Fulbrighter” is no small feat. Consider:

  • Fulbright recipients study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to complex global challenges.
  • The program is the flagship international educational exchange program in the U.S. and among the largest and most diverse exchange programs in the world.
  • Annually, the Fulbright awards 9,000 merit-based scholarships in the U.S. to provide opportunities in more than 160 countries to accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of varied backgrounds and fields.
  • 900 U.S. Scholars—faculty, administrators, or other professionals—lecture and/or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields annually.
  • 2,000 recent university graduates, graduate students, early-career artists, or other early-career professionals pursue graduate study, conduct research, or teach English abroad each year.

Dr. Candace TenBrink offered insight into her experience of being named the first Fulbright Scholar in the Marilyn Davies College of Business (MDCOB) in 2020. “It was a professional honor to be selected—it has profoundly expanded my research circle and broadened my teaching capabilities,” she said. “Personally, it offered me an experience to live like many of our Dr. Candace TenBrinkstudents and immigrants—to be immersed in a culture that was foreign to me, to cope with a dominant language with which I had no skills, to rely on the patience and kindness of others to help me, and to share myself and the American culture with others.” For her Fulbright Scholarship, TenBrink focused on the growth of firms that innovate and engage in strategic actions in Poland. 

She continued, “Our success in the U.S. Scholar arena has contributed to a plan that will engage students in Fulbright opportunities. I believe that it will be impactful to the lives of our students and to other cultures that will be able to see the beauty of diversity and inclusion in the U.S. It also shows our support of faculty development—a commitment to expanding our international exposure, and that we value the tenets that the U.S. Department of State holds near and dear—developing mutual understanding between cultures, improving lives, and advancing knowledge.”

The announcement of The Fulbright Top Producing Institutions for 2022-2023 was published in the online edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education on Feb. 10, and on the Fulbright Program website.

“We raised the bar!” said TenBrink, who serves as the Fulbright Liaison for UHD. “The UHD administration deserves credit for the program’s success on campus. Our administration is purposefully supporting our faculty and the local Fulbright chapter and is taking a leadership role in the expansion of Houston-area Fulbright activity.”

“The University of Houston-Downtown is a university on the rise, and that four UHD professors this academic year earned this tremendous honor in higher education is a true testament of the scholarly excellence among our faculty,” said President Loren J. Blanchard. “I heartily congratulate Ms. Natacha Poggio, and Drs. Edmund Cueva, Shahnaz Savani, and Rahul Verma. The goals of our Fulbright Scholars are to prevent suicide in Badakhshan; teach environmental communications in Ecuador; understand the current behavioral finance and environmental, social, and governance investments in the United Arab Emirates; and lead courses in Spain on the influence of the Classics in Latin America. These faculty members clearly demonstrate not only the diversity within UHD’s faculty but also the diversity of thought, scholarship, and practice at UHD.”

A reception celebrating Fulbright Top Producing Institutions will be held Tuesday, February 21, in Washington, D.C. 

For information on Fulbright U.S. students opportunities, visit the official website.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.