Jennifer Feitosa honored with prestigious Fulbright

Portrait of CMC Prof. Jennifer Feitosa with her arms akimbo on campus.

CMC is a top Fulbright producer

Claremont McKenna College has been recognized as a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Top Producing Institution for the 2021-2022 academic year.

As announced by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the College was designated for its high numbers of U.S. students (young professionals with a bachelor’s degree) who were awarded Fulbrights for the 2021-2022 academic year.

In the past academic year, four CMCers were offered the prestigious Fulbright grants.

For more than a decade, CMC has consistently ranked highly among colleges and universities with the most students earning grants from the esteemed international program. Fulbright attracts CMCers who possess a global affinity, a strong interest in cross-cultural exchange, and the desire to pursue research, study, or teaching opportunities overseas.

“I’m thrilled that so many CMCers have been able to go abroad through the Fulbright Program,” said Brian Davidson ’08, director of Fellowships Advising, who works with students eager to pursue highly competitive national and international grants and awards.

Davidson added that despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, “It is a coup for CMC to retain Top Producer status this year, which feels even more significant given that it is not only CMC’s 75th anniversary year, but also the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Program. I am confident that CMCers will continue their deep engagement with international and intercultural teaching and research into the future.”

The four recent CMC alumni who are currently Fulbright grantees are: Sarah Ceja ’21 (English Teaching Assistant, Mexico); Emma Finn ’21 (Masters of Public Health, Israel); Nandeeni Patel ’21 (researcher, Sri Lanka); and Lucas Radice ’19 (English Teaching Assistant, Germany).

Throughout their nine-12-month international sojourns, CMCers will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of additional educational and diplomatic activities.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program, active in more than 160 countries worldwide.

Applications for the next cycle of Fulbright Student Awards will open on March 31, 2022. CMC students and alumni interested in applying can find out more and contact Brian Davidson for further information.

The Chronicle of Higher Education published the list of top-producing institutions with the most Fulbright U.S. students, 2021-22.

CMC Prof. Jennifer Feitosa has joined an elite cadre, having recently been recognized with a prestigious U.S. Scholar Fulbright grant.

“The CMC community is incredibly proud of Prof. Feitosa,” said Heather Antecol, CMC’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. “This award is a career-changer for her, as earning a Fulbright will allow Prof. Feitosa to expand her research and further develop her teaching. In addition, CMC will benefit from the valuable network that she will be building.”

Fulbright Scholars receive a grant to teach and/or conduct research in a foreign country. The program started in 1946 to promote goodwill through cultural exchange among students, educators and professionals. A total of 36 CMC faculty members have been named Fulbright Scholars, including most recently Gretchen Gilbert and Albert L. Park.

For Feitosa, who has long dreamed of becoming “a citizen of the world,” this award means that she is a little closer to fulfilling that dream, as she heads to Madrid for the 2022-23 academic year.

Feitosa, who is an assistant professor of Psychology and director of CMC’s METRICS lab, will deepen her research and teaching, which is focused on workplace diversity, teamwork, training, and measurement.

“It is a lot easier to appreciate and understand people when we immerse ourselves in their world, culture, and practice perspective-taking,” she said. “My time in Madrid will not only enhance my professional identity related to understanding diverse teams but also personally, as I form relationships with people in other parts of the world.”

Spain, she explains, is an ideal site for her work, given that is a leading country for expatriates, who comprise 15% of the workforce.

“Teaching and researching abroad in Spain, a country whose workforce is significantly impacted by increased diversity in workplaces in general, and teams in particular, will contribute to the development of evidence-based practices to support the pressing needs of belonging,” said Feitosa. “Moreover, these practices need to be developed from cultural- and linguistic-diverse perspectives as well.”

Feitosa said she was grateful for the support and advice from Prof. Park, a four-time recipient of Fulbright Fellowships for Research, as she assembled her own Fulbright proposal.

“Prof. Feitosa had a strong research proposal and a dynamic record of scholarship that made her a fantastic applicant for this prestigious fellowship,” said Park, who is the Bank of America Associate Professor of Pacific Basin Studies at CMC.

“I am confident that Prof. Feitosa will gain so much from this Fulbright experience, especially building networks of collaboration that will further enhance her research and help her to break new grounds in her fields of study,” he said, noting that his Fulbright fellowships allowed him to conduct vital research to write his book project on environmentalism in South Korea.

In addition to working on her research project, “Integrative Team Belonging Training: An Inclusive Research and Teaching Perspective” (originally co-developed with a CGU Prof. M. Glória González-Morales) at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). Feitosa will teach an Organizational Behavior course to MBA students, and lead case studies.

Upon her return to CMC, Feitosa hopes that her students will be inspired by her Fulbright experience to embark on their own overseas learning opportunities and that she’ll be able to bring what she’ll learn in Madrid back to her classroom and METRICS research lab.

Feitosa, who is originally from Brazil, understands the value of exploring diverse cultures. She is trilingual (Portuguese, English, and Spanish), and spent time during her high school years in a small town in Minnesota, eventually earning her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Central Florida.

Casting an eye to the future, Feitosa said she would love to spend research time incorporating other cultural diversity components to teams. “There is still a big divide in our western/eastern as well as northern/southern knowledge, thus a continuous push for debunking some of our scientific findings is necessary,” she said.

Anne Bergman


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