AZUSA, Calif.— Annually, thousands of students from across the U.S. apply for a Fulbright Scholarship to teach or conduct research abroad. Miami, Fla., resident Matthew Gonzalez, a graduate of Azusa Pacific University, is 1 of only 1,500 to receive the prestigious award this year.

Gonzalez graduated from APU in May 2010 with a B.S. in Political Science. While a student, he served as president of the Latin American Student Association (LASA) and was the East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU) Scholar. The Fulbright scholarship enables Gonzalez to spend 10 months teaching in Cantabria, Spain, working in a secondary school as an English teaching assistant, while also researching contemporary Spanish identity.

“My decision to apply for a Fulbright fellowship in Spain was directly influenced by my work with LASA, my amazing APU professors, and the support of Diane Guido, Ph.D., vice provost for Graduate Programs,” said Gonzalez.

Along with this year’s Fulbright recipient Margarita Ramirez, Gonzalez joins 20 APU alumni who have studied and taught with a Fulbright Grant in locations such as Bangladesh, Belgium, China, Indonesia, Korea, Macau, Romania, Slovakia, Tunisia, and Turkey.

“These Fulbright awards represent success in a challenging national competition, and demonstrate Azusa Pacific University’s commitment to scholarship at the highest levels,” said Provost Mark Stanton, Ph.D., ABPP. “The remarkable opportunities these Fulbright recipients engage in abroad not only enhance their research and life experiences, but also contribute to the internationalization of the APU community upon their return. We celebrate their successes and we are proud of their accomplishments.”

The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” The Fulbright Program has provided almost 300,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential—with the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.