New UTEP Office of Fellowships and Awards Opens World of Possibility to Students
Last Updated on September 01, 2020 at 12:00 AM
Originally published September 01, 2020
By UC Staff
The University of Texas at El Paso has opened an Office of Student Fellowships and Awards to inform and support UTEP students applying for graduate scholarship and fellowship opportunities. This new office in the Division of Student Affairs will assist students applying for graduate education.
“The best students at UTEP can compete with the best students anywhere; they need the encouragement to know that they can,” UTEP President Heather Wilson said. “We established the Office of Student Fellowships and Awards to give students the guidance and support to prepare themselves for these graduate fellowships.”
Wilson was the first person in her family to go to college and is a Rhodes Scholar.
“I had no idea that there were scholarships to go to graduate school until a faculty member told me about it and sent me to an office that helped me look into it,” Wilson said.
There are a large number of competitive postgraduate and undergraduate fellowships available, but often students do not know that they exist or how to apply for them. This office will help students identify relevant funding opportunities and support them as they apply for national and international fellowships, scholarships and awards, including the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Truman, Gilman, Gates, Goldwater, Fulbright, National Science Foundation and others.
“The centralized resources offered at the Office of Student Fellowships and Awards will streamline the application process and make it more efficient for our students, faculty and staff,” said Catie McCorry-Andalis, Ed.D., associate vice president for student engagement and dean of students at UTEP. “Our students are talented, resilient and capable of reaching great heights in their academic careers. We can’t wait to see the future success stories that result.”
The office is led by Melanie Meinzer, Ph.D., who comes to UTEP with a background in academia, fellowship administration and bolstering diversity pipelines in higher education.
The office has already offered information sessions and connecting with potential applicants. The staff are currently working remotely and recently launched a resource-rich website.
While UTEP has established success with organizations including the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the Gilman Scholars Program, the Office of Student Fellowships and Awards will build on these successes and expand the system of fellowship advising on campus to create more awareness and open opportunities for students.
“You see something like Mitchell, or Marshall or Rhodes, and you think you have to be from an Ivy League school to get this award,” Meinzer said. “A lot of students don't know that these kinds fellowships are for them, that students from UTEP have won prestigious fellowships, will win these fellowships, and that they can compete for these awards.”