The U.S. Department of State recognized UC Santa Barbara as a Fulbright Hispanic Serving Institutions Leader and a Gilman 20-year Top Producer in the Large Institution category on Oct. 27.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for students in the U.S. to research or study outside of the country. The program began in 1946, and about 2,000 students across the country receive grants every year. 

The Fulbright Hispanic Serving Institutions Leader designation specifically recognizes Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) like UCSB “that have demonstrated noteworthy engagement with the Fulbright Program during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years and have promoted Fulbright Program opportunities on campus,” according to a press release from the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). 

The 35 recipients of the Fulbright Leader award were announced at the annual conference of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. 

“Thank you for epitomizing the principle that mutual understanding between peoples of the United States and other countries will lead to a more just and peaceful society at home,” Ethan Rosenzweig, the deputy assistant secretary of state for academic programs at the ECA, said at the conference. 

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants of up to $5,000 to U.S. students who need financial support to study or intern abroad. The ECA established the Gilman Program in 2001 with plans to award 3,600 scholarships this academic year through the program. 

To commemorate the Gilman Program’s 20th anniversary, the ECA created the Gilman 20-year Top Producer designation, which was announced at the Diversity Abroad conference on Oct. 27. The award honored institutions with the most cumulative Gilman Program scholarship recipients from Fall 2001 to Summer 2020. 

The Gilman award recognized institutions for “their support of equity, diversity, and accessibility in study abroad for American students through the Gilman Program,” according to the Gilman Top Producers site

There are four categories in the Top Producers designation: small, medium and large institutions, as well as institutions that grant associate degrees. Large institutions, which include UCSB, have more than 15,000 undergraduate students. Within this category, UCSB ranked four out of 20 in the nation, with 401 total grant recipients throughout the lifetime of the Gilman Program. 

“As a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution, we are thrilled to be recognized by the State Department with these two honors that highlight our campus’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our scholarly pursuits,” Chancellor Henry T. Yang said in the UCSB Current. 

“Such designations bolster our shared understanding at UC Santa Barbara that excellence and diversity go hand in hand.”