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

Ramirez graduated from APU in May 2012 with a B.S. in Political Science. She served as a Trustee Scholar and member of the Student Government Association for two years. A member of the Honors Program, Ramirez was the recipient of the Gerald Wilson Scholarship and served as Alpha Chi Region VII national student representative. The Fulbright scholarship enables Ramirez to spend seven months conducting research in the Azores, an island chain in the Atlantic that is part of Portugal. She will research how Azoreans view America, American identity, and family members who have immigrated to the U.S.

“My time at APU inspired my research proposal, my world-class faculty prepared me for the work, and my mentors gave me the courage to take this big step,” said Ramirez. “The Fulbright is, in many ways, a testament to the great education I’ve received at APU!”

Along with this year’s Fulbright recipient Matthew Gonzalez, Ramirez 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.