U.S. Government celebrated the Fulbright Scholarship award ceremony

At the ceremony, 19 fellows from the class of 2023 were awarded scholarships in a wide range of academic disciplines. 

Quito, June 9, 2023. The U.S. Government, through its flagship international educational exchange program, held the Fulbright scholarship award ceremony yesterday, in which 19 scholarships were awarded to Ecuadorian professionals with a wide range of academic disciplines. Those selected will begin graduate studies at universities in the United States this year, and went through a rigorous evaluation process, in which factors such as academic performance, personal trajectory, and leadership potential were considered.   

The ceremony, organized by the Fulbright Commission of Ecuador, was attended by Debra Hevia, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador, Andrea Ibáñez, Deputy Secretary of Higher Education, rectors of educational institutions in the country, and alumni of Fulbright programs.   

“I celebrate the achievements of these extraordinary professionals who are about to embark on the greatest adventure of their lives. And I invite you to seize this opportunity and become agents of positive change. Just as you will now learn from the United States, the United States will also learn much from you. Their perspectives, ideas, and contributions will help foster greater understanding and appreciation for Ecuador, its people, and its remarkable cultural heritage,” said Debra Hevia, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador.  

The Fulbright scholarship covers living expenses, medical insurance, airfare, educational supplies, and a stipend. The tuition scholarship depends on the profile of the student and the availability of funds from the universities to which each person decides to apply. 

Fulbright is a global educational exchange program that began in 1946 and has been active in Ecuador since October 1956. As part of its mission, it offers cultural and educational exchange programs for outstanding students, scholars, artists, teachers and professionals from Ecuador and the United States. Fulbright scholarships reward and support professionals and students who have demonstrated serious commitment to their studies in their respective areas. The global Fulbright program has diverse alumni: 62 have been Nobel Prize winners, 40 have been heads of state and 89 have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, among other recognitions.  

Paiwa Acero is one of the Ecuadorian fellows benefiting from the program this year. A member of a small indigenous community in Cañar, Paiwa studied Civil Engineering at the University of Cuenca and studied English at the Center for Inter-American Studies in Cuenca thanks to the scholarship she received from the Cañari Women’s Education Foundation. Since then, she has worked in different public institutions on potable water, sewer systems, water treatment plants and natural water springs, especially in the rural areas of Cañar.  Now, thanks to the Fulbright scholarship, she will study for a master’s degree in civil engineering while also serving as a research assistant at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  

Another of the fellows is Jorge Espinoza from Guayaquil who graduated in 2020 from the Littoral Polytechnic School as a Geological Engineer. During his undergraduate studies he served as a teaching assistant. He participated in the National Risk and Emergency Management Service’s natural risk assessment, as well as in the investigation of the Antarctic Continent in the XXIV Ecuadorian Antarctic Expedition. His aspiration is to conduct earth science research to help understand and reduce natural risks that affect human beings and hinder the country’s development. Jorge will pursue his master’s degree in geosciences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, and will also serve as a research assistant. 

The United States values educational and cultural exchanges, which contribute to academic enrichment and international knowledge, fostering a better binational understanding of U.S. and Ecuadorian culture, foreign policy, and perspectives. 

To learn more about the Fulbright program click on: Fulbright Scholarships