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Engineering Ph.D. Candidate Appeals for Program Support

July 31, 2017
Chris Rumple explains how air flow affects wind turbine productivity in 2015.
Chris Rumple explains how air flow affects wind turbine productivity in 2015.

Using his own personal experience as a rallying cry, a student in the College of Engineering and Applied Science is appealing to lawmakers to keep funding available for a study-abroad program.

Christopher Rumple, a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at the University of Wyoming, recently published a blog about the benefits of the Fulbright Scholar Program. This program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, allows students from different parts of the world study abroad and exchange ideas and knowledge. The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas.

The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Roughly 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars, and 900 visiting scholars receive awards, in addition to several hundred teachers and professionals. Approximately 370,000 "Fulbrighters" have participated in the Program since its inception in 1946. Currently, the Fulbright Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

After being denied entry into the program twice, Rumple was finally accepted in 2015. It allowed him to travel to Indonesia, putting his UW education on hold. He traveled to rural villages in the country to develop sustainable power sources, namely wind energy  to help the local industry in the small island of Morotai. He was also able to earn  grants through the Center of Global Studies to allow additional travel to and from the research site in Morotai and host institution (Bandung Institute of Technology), and he’s passionate about the future of student exchange programs, especially for STEM backgrounds .

“There once was a dream started by the greatest generation,” Rumple writes. “This dream was for a free world. Where national barriers were just imaginary lines; where trade and ideas knew no bounds. But now we are turning inward, forgetting to ever look up and wonder. We are losing sight on helping our fellow man. The strength of America lies in our ability to unlock the human potential.

“We must protect this liberty of student exchange. As a constituent and a friend of the Fulbright Program, I urge you to stand for Fulbright. The proposed 52 percent budget cut to the Department of State’s exchange programs for fiscal year 2018 would result in a 47 percent cut to the Fulbright Program.”

Rumple points to benefits of the program like inspiring leadership, improving national security, helping global economies and improving education.

“Cutting funding for the Fulbright Program would do great harm to America’s security, economy, and educational system,” Rumple adds. “Will you stand with me and oppose cuts to the Fulbright program?”

The link to Rumple’s blog can be found here.


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