Montrell Sanders is poised to return to Fiji, where he previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer

Rutgers University–Camden is proud to announce that Montrell Sanders, a doctoral student in public affairs, has been named a finalist for the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Award. Sanders is the first Rutgers–Camden student to receive this designation for a Fulbright research award since 2017, and, should he accept the opportunity, will travel to Fiji to conduct research for his doctoral dissertation.

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“I am incredibly proud of Montrell Sanders for emerging from an extremely competitive selection process to become a Fulbright finalist,” said Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis. “His academic excellence has been evident throughout his Rutgers–Camden career, and this honor speaks to the importance he—with the full support of the university community—places on international collaboration and discovery.”

Sanders came to Rutgers–Camden in the fall of 2018 to pursue his master’s degree in public administration, which he received in May 2020. He then continued his studies at the university, earning his master of science in public affairs in 2022, and is on track to receive a doctorate of public affairs in May 2025. During his time at Rutgers–Camden, he has conducted research at the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and served as a graduate fellow at the Equity Research Cooperative. His current scholarship focuses on the experiences of minority students at predominantly white institutions of higher learning.

Sanders has maintained strong ties to Fiji, where he served as a volunteer for the Votua Water Initiative, a Peace Corps-affiliated effort. Sanders helped the Votua Village secure a grant for the design and implementation of a new water source. Upon completion of the project, which Sanders helped to oversee, Votua residents had a reliable source of clean water.

“Having worked with Montrell on this application, I am incredibly proud that he has been named a Fulbright finalist,” said Laura Collins, director of the Office of Scholar Development and Fellowship Advising (OSDFA). “He is the first student in my tenure to be recognized as a Fulbright finalist for a research project. He will, no doubt, be an outstanding cultural ambassador and representative of Rutgers–Camden.”

The OSDFA assists current students and alumni with applications to national fellowship programs, including the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. This post-graduate opportunity is available to anyone who will hold a bachelor’s degree by the program start date. OSDFA staff supports applicants through every stage of the process, from navigating the application to writing and preparing competitive materials. Interested students and alumni are encouraged to visit the Fulbright website and complete a Fulbright Interest Form to learn more. The national deadline to submit a Fulbright application is Tuesday, October 8; however, the deadline to apply with full support from the campus committee is Friday, August 30, so interested candidates are encouraged to act early.

About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program is the flagship 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 primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.