Rachel Jankowski ’22 learned to surmount academic and life challenges while at Denison. Those same skills have been helping her in Poland, where she is conducting environmental science research as a 2022-23 Fulbright student.
Jankowski is one of five recent Denison graduates who were offered prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student grants for the 2022-2023 academic year — a total that once again secured Denison’s place as a Fulbright Top Producing Institution. The program announced its list on Friday, Feb. 10.
Denison has been named a Top Producer for five of the last six years.
Other Denison award recipients who helped the college earn the designation are Hannah Gilson ’22, who is on an English teaching assistantship in Bulgaria; Cynthia Guerrero ’22, on an English teaching assistantship in Peru; Sarah Schubert ’21, on an English teaching assistantship in Mexico; and Michael Ball ’22, who was awarded an English teaching assistantship in Uzbekistan but declined to pursue another opportunity.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Fulbright grants build international bridges through education. Awardees spend a post-graduate academic year teaching English, conducting research, or studying at a university in one of over 140 participating countries.
Fulbright grants are awarded based on academic and professional achievement, as well as applicants’ records of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.
Denison prepares its students to thrive as Fulbright awardees through the college’s rigorous academics, significant research and internship opportunities, and strong faculty mentorship philosophy, says Adam Davis, a history professor and the director of Denison’s Lisska Center for Intellectual Engagement.
“That Denison once again has been named a top producer of Fulbright awards underscores what we already know — a Denison education equips its students with challenging and rewarding academic experiences, invaluable life skills, and the confidence and dexterity required to navigate an increasingly globalized and complex world,” Davis says. “These Fulbright awards are a testament to our students’ deep global engagement, intellectual curiosity, and commitment to building intercultural understanding.”
That’s been precisely the experience for Jankowski.
“I am really loving my Fulbright term in Poland,” she says. “It is improving my worldview and my self-awareness. Almost everything is a challenge, but that is how I know I am growing and learning.
“My four years at Denison were similar in this regard — academically challenging — and I gained an appreciation for active, holistic learning through struggle,” Jankowski says. “Denison fostered my sense of curiosity, and my professors helped me build confidence. I am always developing these skills, but I use them every day while studying and living in Poland.”
The Lisska Center for Intellectual Engagement provides advising and support for students as they prepare their applications for a wide range of international and domestic fellowships. The center is holding Fulbright information sessions on March 23 and 27. Interested students or recent alums can email the center for information and to register. The Fulbright Program was created to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program.