Dr. Perry Bush

Professor of history

Two years ago, Dr. Perry Bush traveled to Ukraine to teach as a Fulbright scholar. Last November, he went to Washington, D.C., to help select the next Fulbright scholars.

The history professor received an email requesting that he go to Washington to sit on a review committee charged with critiquing applications just like his when he applied three years ago.

"It's an honor; I'm not inclined to say 'no' to an honor like that," Perry says. "Of course I said 'yes.'"

He spent his time in the nation's capital reading through reviewers' profiles, evaluating project statements and sifting through letters of recommendation to find candidates worthy of receiving a Fulbright grant—a highly competitive award that funds international education and research projects.

Not only were the extensive applications daunting to Perry, but he also felt intimidated to have input on whether an application is accepted or denied. "These are people's lives I have some say in," he points out.

He noticed that most applicants were professors, but stresses that any outstanding individual can apply.

Bush's committee only examined applicants seeking to travel to Eastern Europe or Asia, including to Russia, Ukraine or Azerbaijan.

He taught American studies in Ukraine with his Fulbright grant, whose recipients also include 43 Nobel Prize winners and Perry's campus colleague, English professor Jeff Gundy.

Despite the long flight to Washington and the formidable process of reading through applications, Perry is eager to return to the committee for a few more years.

"I was grateful to give back to the program," he says.

Chay Reigle, public relations office
January 2014