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As a Fulbright Scholar, CSUF Math Professor Will Conduct Research in Brazil

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Alison Marzocchi, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics applied last summer for the 2023-2024 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, which allows U.S. citizens to “teach, conduct research and carry out professional projects around the world.”

Prior to applying, Marzocchi had heard the word “Fulbright” while working in academics but wasn’t sure exactly what it was. “I’m a first-generation college student, so I didn’t know that much about Fulbright,” she says. “I just knew it had something to do with traveling internationally and teaching or doing research in another country.”

However, the more Marzocchi looked into the Fulbright program, the more she realized it was a great opportunity. With guidance from CSUF Study Abroad & Global Engagement (SAGE), she decided to apply for Brazil since it fit best with the research she is doing.

Then, after much anticipation, Marzocchi received the news in March that she is a Fulbright Scholar Award recipient and will be staying in Brazil from January – April 2024!

What will she be doing there? She is partnering with the mathematics department at the University of São Paulo (USP) to address the issue of inequitable outcomes in degree completion. “Brazil is facing similar issues to the United States,” she explains. “Access to higher education has increased quite a bit in Brazil in recent years but unfortunately, they are still not seeing equitable outcomes in terms of completing college degrees.”

With both the U.S. and Brazil facing these problems, Marzocchi plans to work with her collaborators at USP to research and find solutions from an international perspective. “We need to really see what’s happening in retaining students at universities so demographic characteristics such as family income are not a predictor of whether or not they’ll complete their degree.”

Marzocchi encourages other CSUF faculty and staff to just “go for it” and apply to Fulbright if they are interested in traveling abroad. “I thought this was such a long shot, but I decided to try, set aside a few days to work on the application, and lo and behold, I was selected!”

Applications for the Fulbright 2024-2025 grant period are now open. This is an excellent opportunity to travel abroad for post-grad studies, projects, teaching, or research, and there are a wide variety of countries to choose from. Apply for Fulbright awards at

CSUF Study Abroad & Global Engagement is a fully integrated part of CSUF Extension & International Programs (EIP). Learn more about CSUF EIP at

Charis Hill