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Fellowships & Scholarships Updates

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Message from Steve Wright, Interim Assistant Dean for Fellowships Advising

By Aaron Solle on April 19, 2018

I’m thrilled to be back at Colgate since the end of February with the Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships (ONFS). Everyone at Colgate has been so warm and welcoming, and I’ve been excited to meet with many students individually as well as their faculty and staff mentors.

At Colgate in the 2012-2013 academic year, I was honored to be in virtually the same role with ONFS and to also direct the Alumni Memorial Scholars (AMS) program. After Colgate, I spent three years in Washington, DC helping mostly undergraduate students at George Washington University with national fellowships and undergraduate research; and learning about some of the amazing opportunities and resources in our national and international capital.

Since being back with ONFS, I’ve tried to primarily focus on encouraging students to prepare and apply for nationally competitive fellowships in the upcoming academic year, 2018-2019, and to help students gain readiness to reach for these often unique opportunities. Further, I’ve been very happy to meet the students who have come to the interest and groups meetings so far; for: the Watson Fellowship, the Fulbright Scholarship, and the University Scholars program.

In general, I feel there are important reasons to consider pursuing national fellowships. First, they can be a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain extraordinary academic or professional experience. Second, they are often the chance to study abroad or study further abroad. Third, national fellowships may allow you to explore career and academic directions in highly specialized ways and environments. Last, they often serve as crucial steppingstones to one’s next experience – graduate school or the World of Work.

It is a myth, I feel, that national fellowships are only for graduating seniors and graduate students; and it is a myth that the number of opportunities is very limited. For instance, there is a Fulbright to the UK especially for first and second-year students; and first and second years can also apply to fellowships such as: the Boren Scholarship, the Critical Language Scholarship and the German Educational Exchange (the DAAD); and many more. In fact, a diversity of national fellowships exists, and if students pursue them in persistent and concerted ways, their efforts and fellowship plans will be amply rewarded.

Please feel free to reach out to me for a meeting; or to stop by 105 McGregory to arrange one or to just say hello.  My direct email address is swright@colgate.edu; and the phone number to reach me is: 315-228-6224.

I look forward to meeting you!


Staff change in ONFS

By Kim Germain on November 29, 2017

After running Colgate’s Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships since 2013, I am leaving my position here to take on a similar role directing the Office of External Fellowships at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

I have very much enjoyed my time at Colgate, particularly working closely with students and faculty.  I am proud to have built strong relationships with many people and offices here, and to have incorporated best practices in all the functions of ONFS.  I am especially proud that I have been able to help students as they learn and grow, and find their academic and life paths.

All inquiries about fellowships should be directed to onfs@colgate.edu or to Angela Schachte in 105 McGregory.

With best wishes,

Kim Germain

 


Seniors: Apply for the Watson Fellowship!

By Kim Germain on September 8, 2017

The Watson Fellowship provides $30,000 to fund a self-driven year of global exploration and travel outside of the US after graduation. Projects can be about nearly anything, academic or personal, that intrigues and motivates you enough to spend a whole year pursuing that idea or issue around the globe.

From solar energy to surgery, climate change to community radio, technology to textiles, the Watson Fellowship provides graduating seniors with a remarkable year to explore their deepest interests on a global scale. Fellows create original projects, execute them outside of the United States and embrace the ensuing journey.

Approaching their 50th anniversary, today Watson Fellows comprise leaders in nearly every field, inspired by a ‘dream year’ that continues to shape the arc of their lives and those of others.

The Colgate campus deadline is October 5 — coming up soon, though there is still time to apply. All interested seniors are highly encouraged to contact ONFS for valuable advisement and application feedback prior to the campus deadline.

You can download application materials right here: Click here Watson campus application form 2017 to download the form with instructions, and click here Campus recommendation form for the questionnaire that must be completed by your recommenders and submitted by them to ONFS by the October 5 deadline.

More info available at the Watson website.

Additional details: Candidates must:

  • Be in their senior year at the time of application
  • Receive a bachelor’s degree prior to Aug. 1 of that year
  • Create a project for a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel
  • Be nominated by Colgate. Nomination decisions will be made by our Watson Committee after review of application materials and campus interviews, which will take place soon after midterm recess.

The Watson is a unique fellowship opportunity that is only available to students at top US liberal arts colleges. If exploring the world for a year after graduation sounds like a good idea to you, then you may be an excellent candidate. Contact ONFS about your ideas. The world awaits!

 


Melanie Oliva ’18 reports on the fellowships panel

By Kim Germain on June 30, 2017

The following post was contributed by Melanie Oliva ’18, an English major and anthropology minor. She is an editorial intern in the Office of Communications and in the Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships.

What You Gain from Applying to Fellowships and Scholarships

Students joined us on June 22 to hear about fellowship opportunities as part of the Summer Research Lunchtime Discussion Series. Panelists included Dean Germain, Professor Jonathan Levine, Professor Jason Keith, Professor Claire Baldwin, Professor Georgia Frank, and Amanda Liberman ’17, who was recently awarded a Fulbright grant to teach English in Kazakhstan. Each panelist had unique insights into the application processes for a wide variety of fellowships.

After graduating from college, Professor Levine decided to pursue opportunities that would make him a well-rounded applicant for graduate school. He applied for and won the Rhodes Scholarship, and used it to earn a second bachelor’s degree in geology at Oxford University. Professor Levine described how the application process was just as rewarding as winning the scholarship. Applying for prestigious scholarships is project of sitting down with yourself and deciding what you want to do with the next few years of your life. It makes you articulate what you’re interested in, why you’re interested in it, and what you want to do with those interests.

Professor Keith was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for his study of chemistry when he was a junior in college, and he now sits on the Colgate committee for the Goldwater. The Goldwater Scholarship is open to sophomores and juniors who are planning to have research careers in mathematics and sciences. Professor Keith learned how to market himself and his interests through the application process. Through applying to the Goldwater Scholarship, he was better able to understand how to explain his own research and how to have others understand its importance.

Professor Baldwin, who sits on the Colgate committee for the Fulbright scholarship, has seen students grow through the Fulbright application and interview processes. She saw how one of her students learned a lot about herself through applying to an English Teaching Assistant Award as part of the Fulbright program. That student was able to craft a unique story about herself in her application, tying together her interests in German and Arabic languages and her prior experiences with study abroad and working with refugees in Utica to explain her passion for engaging with cultures outside of her own and her goal to work with with Arabic-speaking refugees in Germany while serving as a Fulbright ETA there.

Amanda Liberman ‘17, who will soon embark on her Fulbright to teach English in Kazakhstan, knew that she wanted to go to Kazakhstan after graduating from Colgate but didn’t know how she would get there. Fellowships and scholarships were a way for her to reach this goal. She met with Dean Germain in the Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships to work on her applications to multiple fellowship and scholarship programs. She was able to work with Dean Germain to refine her personal essays and found a lot of support from her professors as she began to ask for letters of recommendation. The Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships provides all students with support, from brainstorming initial ideas to crafting drafts of applications and solidifying recommendations from professors and mentors.

Finally, Professor Frank spoke about the regrets she has about never applying to a fellowship when she was in college. She spoke to how she was too nervous to stray from her path, which she knew would lead to graduate school. She went to graduate school immediately after college, never thinking about how fellowship opportunities could deepen her interests. Today, she sees how her students have been able to take advantage of a year off from school and careers to pursue a passion, be it big or small. She encouraged all of the students at the panel to meet with Kim Germain in the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to talk about opportunities available to them.

All of the panelists agreed that applying to national fellowships and scholarships was a pivotal way to learn more about themselves and move towards their future goals. Through applying, they were better able to understand themselves as inquisitive and interesting people. They were also better equipped to understand what they wanted to learn next and why they wanted to learn it.

It was great to hear from professors across many different departments. Fellowships and scholarships aren’t limited to one department or one type of student; if you have an interest that you’re willing to engage with in a meaningful way, there is an opportunity that will be waiting for your application.

To learn more about fellowship and scholarship opportunities, visit www.colgate.edu/academics/fellowships-scholarships, email onfs@colgate.edu, or call 315-228-6224.


Student profile: Truman finalist Andrew DeFrank

By Kim Germain on April 19, 2017

Colgate student Andrew DeFrank ’18 was a Finalist this spring for the highly competitive and prestigious Truman Scholarship, which supports young leaders who are dedicated to public service. It is a significant achievement to reach the Finalist stage, and the Colgate community is very proud of Andrew for this accomplishment. After the process was over, Andrew spoke to me about the whole Truman application and interview experience; the following comes from those conversations and others throughout my time working with Andrew.

When I met Andrew in his first year at Colgate, during a social event for the Benton Scholars Program he is a part of, we talked about politics and his interest in public service. Given that his interests matched up well with the mission of the Truman Scholarship, I made sure it was on his radar and continued to bring it up with him leading up to his junior year, when he was eligible to apply.

Andrew is a political science major with a minor in peace and conflict studies, and as a Washington, DC, native he grew up steeped in American politics. On campus, he has been deeply involved in SGA since his first year, when he won the Golden Gavel Award and the Edward M. Stimets Memorial Award, and served as the SGA Parliamentarian last semester. During last year’s presidential campaign, he founded Colgate for Hillary and engaged many students in the campaign; he also spent last summer working as the press and communications intern for Hillary for America.  Andrew is currently studying abroad on an approved program in Buenos Aires, Argentina; his plans for this summer are to work in Virginia on a House of Delegates race.

Thinking about his future career, Andrew is determined to combat voter disenfranchisement and to protect and expand voting rights for all Americans. As he said, “Upon graduation from Colgate, I plan on working to elect progressive candidates to office in whatever opportunity is presented to me. I would like to attend law school and eventually pursue a career in public service that seeks to expand the opportunity and right to vote for as many Americans as possible. We should be making it easier to vote in this country, not harder, and I plan on dedicating my career to making that goal a reality.”

About the Truman Scholarship application itself, Andrew said: “The Truman application process has been the first time I’ve been put in a position where I could seriously consider the real ramifications of so many different parts of my future and the future of our country. By working through a policy proposal and explaining where I would like to be working 5-7 years after graduate school, I was able to spend time thinking about the future of our country as it relates to voting rights and access both inside Washington, D.C. and across the country.”

Andrew DeFrank (8th from left) and the other Truman finalists at the US Court of Appeals, Washington, DC, 3/3/2017

After working through Colgate’s nomination process with ONFS and the Graduate Fellowships Core Committee, Andrew was notified in late February that he had been named a finalist and would interview in Washington, DC, and he flew back from Buenos Aires in early March to meet the other finalists and have his time with the panel. “The interview process was engaging and stimulating. Just like many of my fellow finalists, I walked out a bit out of breath and wide-eyed, but just like the rest I certainly enjoyed the challenge of interviewing for the Truman Scholarship. I was questioned repeatedly, both on my application and on the values I shared with the committee during my interview. I found the questions intellectually engaging and the conversations with my fellow finalists warm and impactful. I’m happy to say that I anticipate becoming friends with some of the people I spent the day with.

This year, the Truman Scholarship had a near record number of applications – 768 applications from 315 colleges and universities. Of these, only 199 students (from 136 institutions) were selected for finalist interviews, and only 62 of the finalists were selected to be Truman Scholars.

About the Truman Scholarship

The Truman Scholarship is the preeminent fellowship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States. It provides recipients with leadership mentoring, an optional summer job in Washington, DC, following graduation, and $30,000 toward the graduate or professional school degree(s) that fit their chosen path to public service. The Truman Scholarship is the Presidential Memorial to Public Service, named for our 33rd President. President Truman believed that a better future relies on attracting to public service the commitment and sound judgment of bright, outstanding Americans, so he built this award as a living memorial devoted to this very purpose. With the Truman Scholarship, the Truman Foundation nurtures and supports Americans who have demonstrated a commitment to public service at a young age. By the example of Truman Scholars, they seek to inspire all Americans to engage in efforts that advance the public good, and to celebrate all of those who make a difference through public service in all of its forms.


Watson Fellowship info sessions 3/30 and 3/31

By Kim Germain on March 27, 2017

The Watson Fellowship provides $30,000 to fund a self-driven year of global exploration and travel outside of the US after graduation. Projects can be about nearly anything meaningful, academic or personal, that intrigues and motivates you enough to spend a whole year pursuing that idea or issue around the globe.

ONFS is hosting two info sessions this week devoted to the Watson Fellowship: Thursday, March 30 at 12:15pm or Friday, March 31 at 9:15am in 101 McGregory.  All interested Colgate students are invited to attend.

Members of the Class of 2018 are especially encouraged to attend, as you would need to apply in the upcoming application cycle, with a deadline early in fall semester.  First-years and sophomores are also very welcome, as it’s never too early to start thinking about what you’d do on your year of global exploration!


Fulbright info sessions 3/28 and 3/29

By Kim Germain on March 22, 2017

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants that enable students and alumni who are U.S. citizens to spend an academic year abroad for independent research/study or to teach English and U.S. culture. There are also some specialized Fulbright opportunities, e.g. the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. Fulbright grants are available to over 150 countries.

The application cycle for the 2018-2019 award year begins this month, which means that current juniors who wish to do a Fulbright in the academic year after they graduate should start their applications this spring. Current seniors and alumni are also welcome and eligible to apply. Colgate provides extensive advisement to students and alumni as they apply for a Fulbright.

Want to learn more? Come to one of our Fulbright info sessions: Tuesday, March 28 at 1:15pm or Wednesday, March 29 at 10:15am in 101 McGregory. There will be Italian cookies.


New ONFS search tool

By Kim Germain on February 10, 2017

ONFS, working with ITS and Library staff, has created a new search tool to help our students and alumni find fellowship opportunities that are well suited to their interests and profiles.

This tool (click here or on Fellowships and Scholarships Search on the right-hand menu) adds over 100 opportunities that are new to Colgate, and we’ve made them searchable along many different criteria — including class year, citizenship, and many different areas of interest. Whether you are interested in social justice or scientific research or going abroad (or all of the above), you should be able to find opportunities that can help you reach your goals, both during college and beyond.

As always, ONFS is here to help you through the application process, so if and when you find something which appeals to you, please get in touch!

 


Class of 2017: Apply for the Watson!

By Kim Germain on August 30, 2016

The Watson Fellowship provides $30,000 to fund a self-driven year of global exploration and travel outside of the US after graduation. Projects can be about nearly anything, academic or personal, that intrigues and motivates you enough to spend a whole year pursuing that idea or issue around the globe.

From solar energy to surgery, climate change to community radio, technology to textiles, the Watson Fellowship provides graduating seniors with a remarkable year to explore their deepest interests on a global scale. Fellows create original projects, execute them outside of the United States and embrace the ensuing journey.

Approaching their half century mark, today Watson Fellows comprise leaders in nearly every field, inspired by a ‘dream year’ that continues to shape the arc of their lives and those of others.

The Colgate campus deadline is now October 5 — coming up soon, though there is still time to apply. All interested seniors are highly encouraged to contact ONFS for valuable advisement and application feedback prior to the campus deadline.

You can download application materials right here: Click Watson campus application form 2016 for this year’s campus form and instructions, and click Watson Recommendation Form for the questionnaire that must be completed by your recommenders and submitted by them to ONFS by the October 5 deadline.

The Watson Foundation is hosting a webinar for all interested parties on Friday, September 9 from 3-4pm. Click here to register for that webinar. More info available at the Watson website here.

Additional details: Candidates must:

  • Be in their senior year at the time of application
  • Receive a bachelor’s degree prior to Aug. 1 of that year
  • Create a project for a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel
  • Be nominated by Colgate. Nomination decisions will be made by our Watson Committee after review of application materials and campus interviews, which will take place soon after the campus deadline above.

The Watson is a unique fellowship opportunity that is only available to students at top US liberal arts colleges. If exploring the world for a year after graduation sounds like a good idea to you, then you may be an excellent candidate. Contact ONFS about your ideas. The world awaits!


Fulbright Info Sessions 3/28 and 3/30

By Kim Germain on March 22, 2016

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants that enable students and alumni who are U.S. citizens to spend an academic year abroad for independent research/study or to teach English and U.S. culture. There are also some specialized Fulbright opportunities, e.g. the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. Fulbright grants are available to over 150 countries.

The application cycle for the 2017-2018 award year begins this month, which means that current juniors who wish to do a Fulbright in the academic year after they graduate should start their applications this spring. Current seniors and alumni are also welcome and eligible to apply. Colgate provides extensive advisement to students and alumni as they apply for a Fulbright.

Want to learn more? Come to one of our Fulbright info sessions: Monday, March 28 at 1:30pm or Wednesday, March 30 at 4:30pm in 101 McGregory. There will be cookies.

 

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