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Shikha Bhattacharjee L’13 recipient of Fulbright Award

October 07, 2013

Shikha Bhattacharjee L’13 has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to India in Law, the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced recently.

Bhattacharjee is one of more than 1,700 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2013-2014 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

Bhattacharjee has declared ambitious goals for her legal career: “to work at a systemic level to advance human rights for vulnerable communities.” Her plan is the product of years of public interest work. Bhattacharjee spent three years with the Yale Child Study Center in the Intensive, In-Home Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Service as a counselor to youth at risk of psychiatric hospitalization and involved in the juvenile justice system. Shikha also worked for six months on the Reproductive Rights Campaign for Human Rights Law Network in West Bengal. At Penn, she has served as a project coordinator for both the Penn Law International Human Rights Advocates and the Innocence Project, a division of the Prisoners’ Education and Advocacy Project. After her first year as a law student, she returned to West Bengal as a Penn Law International Human Rights Fellow to work with Swayam, a Kolkata-based organization working to end violence against women. Bhattacharjee spent last summer at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she worked in the International Human Rights docket.

Bhattacharjee plans to return to India to use legal strategies to strengthen and support grassroots movements for social justice.

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 and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 318,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and other professionals the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. 

Fulbright recipients are among more than 50,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit