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Saturday, September 30, 2023

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SDSU's Eric McDermott takes in the view at Dolphins Point in the mountains of Tamil Nadu during his Fulbright trip to India. SDSU's Eric McDermott takes in the view at Dolphins Point in the mountains of Tamil Nadu during his Fulbright trip to India.

Worldly View

SDSU is a top producer of Fulbright scholars, with nine students in 2010-11.
By Gina Jacobs

Bangalore, India, is not where recent San Diego State University psychology graduate Eric McDermott expected to be after he graduated college. But during his senior year, McDermott learned about the Fulbright Program and everything changed.

McDermott conducts research on Huntington's disease in Bangalore, India, at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences while learning about India’s vibrant culture and environment.

We aim to prepare our students to serve in a global capacity.

“It's been constantly eye-opening as each day provides an opportunity to learn more about the world, culture and most importantly, myself,” said McDermott, who is one of nine recent SDSU graduates to receive Fulbright Scholarships.

Top producer of Fulbrights

SDSU has more student Fulbright recipients than any other California State University and is tied with University of California Los Angeles for third in California behind Stanford (25) and UC Berkeley (12).

The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, recently announced the complete list of colleges and universities that produced the most 2011-2012 U.S. Fulbright students and San Diego State University is among them. The success of the top-producing institutions is highlighted in the Oct. 24 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“We are incredibly proud of the accomplishments of our students in receiving the highly competitive Fulbright awards,” said SDSU Provost Nancy Marlin. “As a university, we aim to prepare our students to serve in a global capacity and I am grateful to the many faculty and staff who make such international opportunities available to our students.”

Aztecs abroad

SDSU’s 2010-11 recipients travelled to Spain, Denmark, South Korea and other countries to teach and conduct research. Two other students were awarded Fulbright Scholarships the same year, but one declined and another received and accepted a French government grant in Paris instead.

The Fulbright competition is administered at SDSU by professor Pat Huckle through the Office of International Programs.

More than 40 SDSU students have received Fulbright Scholarships since 2005. The 2010-11 recipients marked a record number in one year for the university.

“India has a vivid history that embodies wisdom and a way of life not found elsewhere,” McDermott said. “I have grown so much in such a short time.”

To read more about McDermott’s experiences in India, visit his blog.

About the Fulbright Program

Almost 1,700 American students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study have been offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English and conduct research in more than 140 countries throughout the world starting this fall.   

Of the 1,700 Fulbright Scholars nationwide, 19 percent are at the Ph.D. degree level, 17 percent are at the master’s degree level and 65 percent are at the bachelor’s degree level. Students receiving awards for this academic year applied through 600 colleges or universities. 

Lists of Fulbright recipients are available at: