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For Immediate Release
April 06, 2016

IPFW Grad, South Side HS Alum, Wins Fulbright Scholarship

IPFW Grad, South Side HS Alum, Wins Fulbright Scholarship Image 1
Alexander Allison Print-quality image

FORT WAYNE,Ind.—Alexander Allison, a 2015 graduate of Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), has been awarded a highly competitive Fulbright Scholarship to Colombia for the 2016–2017 academic year.

Fulbright is the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. A Fulbright student spends an academic year abroad, all expenses paid, to conduct independent research, teach English, or study in any of over 160 countries worldwide. Over the past three years, only 17 percent of applicants have been awarded a Fulbright to Colombia.

“This award continues a proud tradition at IPFW,” said Professor James Toole, director of the university’s Office of Major Scholarship Advising. “Alex becomes our third Fulbright student in eight years. What this shows is that IPFW is a place where exceptional students can go to achieve nationally recognized academic excellence.”

Allison came to IPFW from South Side High School in Fort Wayne. He majored in history at IPFW and graduated with an Honors Program certificate. He also spent a semester abroad studying in Valparaiso, Chile.

Currently a TEFL-certified English teacher in Barcelona, Spain, Allison will teach English on his Fulbright in Colombia. After that, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Latin American History with a specialization in modern Cuba.

Richard Weiner, Ph.D., chair of the IPFW Department of History, praised Allison for the quality and breadth of his academic research. “Alex is a dedicated student who has been involved in a wide range of research projects, including investigations on the overthrow of the Salvador Allende government in Chile, on Chilean women's history, on Emiliano Zapata and the Mexican Revolution, and on lynching and race relations in the United States.” Allison already has co-authored two published academic articles with Professor Weiner.

“I am incredibly delighted to have the chance to teach and engage in academic work in Colombia,” said Allison, “and I am very grateful to the IPFW staff for helping to create this opportunity for me. The academic training and personal encouragement that I received from the history department, the Honors Program, and the Major Scholarship program has had a profound impact on my academic career.”

Allison’s award highlights the recent growth in IPFW’s Honors Program. “Alex, and other students like Alex, are the reason why it is so important for IPFW to have a strong and active Honors Program,” said Ann Livschiz, Ph.D., director of the Honors Program. “The academic enrichment provided through the Honors Program helps prepare students for success in their future pursuits, including ability to compete and win prestigious national fellowships.” 

Over the past three years IPFW students have won two other top-level national scholarships. Chayenne Polimedio, a 2014 political science graduate, won a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Junior Fellowship, which has a 4% acceptance rate. Micah Rapp, a 2015 biology graduate, won a Barry Goldwater Scholarship, viewed by many as the most prestigious national undergraduate scholarship in math, the natural sciences, and engineering.

MEDIA ONLY: For more information about Allison, the Fulbright Program, or IPFW’s other major scholarship winners, contact James Toole, director of the Office of Major Scholarship Advising, at 260-481-6885 or toolej@ipfw.edu. Allison is currently overseas but can do video interviews via Skype.

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