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Olin Student Named 2018 U.S. Fulbright Scholar

Olin College student Michael Costello has been named a 2018 U.S. Fulbright Scholar. Costello, a senior, will head to Taiwan on an assistantship to teach English.

Costello moved forward with his application with the support and help of Professor of Anthropology Caitrin Lynch, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Ben Hill and Aarti Chellakere, Assistant Director of Post-Graduate Planning at Olin College. "From the start of the process, I had a chance to talk through my application with my professors, advisors, and friends, developing my essays and processing the experiences of the last few years. I am so grateful for the encouragement I received from all my reviewers,” said Costello. "I will be spending the next year of my life in Taitung County teaching in English classrooms. For me, the Fulbright represents an incredible opportunity to stretch my own cultural understanding, practice cross-cultural exchange, and create authentic relationships inside and outside the classroom.” 

“I am often pleasantly surprised when one of our alumni takes their engineering education, and chooses to teach in some capacity.  We are so pleased that Michael has earned this wonderful scholarship, and that he will be pursuing his passion for education,” stated Director of Post-Graduate Planning Sally Phelps. 

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, has provided more than 380,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. More than 1,900 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research abroad each year. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in over 140 countries throughout the world.

In all, out of five applicants, two Olin students were awarded U.S. Fulbright scholarships this year. The second grantee this year turned down the award to pursue another opportunity.

Olin College has a 37 percent success rate with its Fulbright applicants, and routinely appears on the list of top Fulbright producing institutions issued by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Olin’s appearance on the 2017-18 list of top Fulbright producing institutions came thanks to three Olin graduates who were awarded grants announced over the last year. Jordyn Burger ’14 won a full grant to study MSc Design for Interaction at TU Delft in the Netherlands; Lauren Hafford ’07 won a full grant to conduct research in Odisha, India, to study fecal contamination of groundwater; and recent graduate Nagy Hakim ’17 won an assistantship to teach English at the National University of Colombia at Medellin.