Meredith Faculty Member Mentors Fulbright Applicants

With travel so limited over the past year during the pandemic, more applicants than ever were submitted to Fulbright, making it the most competitive year yet.  

“Last fall, a record high of 11,728 applicanthets were submitted – an 11.9% increase over the previous cycle,” said Vilma Concha-Chiaraviglio, Associate Professor of World Languages and Cultures.

Concha-Chiaraviglio played a pivotal role in three Meredith students receiving a Fulbright award, a record number of recipients for the College. An alumna of the program herself, and as Meredith’s Fulbright advisor, she is passionate about connecting students with the opportunity and helping them with the application process. (Recipients Briana Petrusa, ’21, Bailey Birtchet, ’21, and Delaney Rhodes, ’20, are shown above.)

“As a Fulbright advisor, one of my greatest joys is to see students learn how to make an impact on the world through education,” said Concha-Chiaraviglio.

A native of Columbia, South America, Concha-Chiaraviglio received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue graduate school at Stony Brook University where she studied linguistics. She said this opportunity “opened the world” for her, and allowed her to become bicultural. 

“It is my desire to be an ambassador of Colombia and the United States, and to help build bonds of peace and understanding among the cultures of the world,” she said.”

Every year, Concha-Chiaraviglio shares information about the Fulbright with students, faculty, and staff in an effort to raise awareness about the opportunity. Through referrals and building relationships with students, she identifies strong candidates for Fulbright awards and helps them with the application process. She also helps by providing recommendations to Fulbright as an alumna. 

“Fulbright 2020-21 has been a great year for Meredith. I thoroughly enjoyed working with each one of the seven students who applied. I loved sharing my own experience and learning from each student’s academic and personal life,” Concha-Chiaraviglio said.

The Meredith College deadline to begin a Fulbright application is June 15, 2021. To learn more about how to apply to Fulbright, contact Vilma Concha-Chiaraviglio at

Melyssa Allen

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