Category Archives: Fellowships

Content linked to particular fellowships. Updates. Snippets. In the news.

Ada Comstock Scholar awarded Truman Scholarship and Newman Civic Fellowship

Katie McGarry, ’21, Ada Comstock Scholar

As a Smith College nominee, Katie McGarry, ’21, was recognized with two prestigious awards this spring. She was one of 62 college juniors across the United States awarded the Truman Scholarship and one of 290 community-minded students awarded a Newman Civic Fellowship. The Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 in funding for graduate studies. Katie plans to use her scholarship for law school. As a Newman Civic Fellow, Katie will be an active participant in a learning and professional development network next academic year.  Read more about Katie and her plans here.

We asked Katie a few questions about her fellowships application process.

What motivated you to apply for this/these awards?
My decision to come to Smith was in no small part due to its long and storied commitment to public service and social justice. Smith has afforded me many opportunities to pursue these passions, both of which fit well with the Truman and Newman fellowships.

What did you learn from the application process?
I felt I was a good fit for the Truman because I had come to Smith with fairly fleshed out answers to their application questions. From a personal development perspective, it was really helpful to know that even if what I do isn’t *perfect* (I found a typo in my final application after it was submitted!), I am still capable of accomplishing a lot and worthy of an award. To paraphrase Voltaire: perfection is the enemy of the good!

What did your applications help you achieve? Or, how did it better prepare you to realize more fundamental life/career goals? 
Winning the Truman will open many doors for me–most importantly, it will connect me with a community of fellow do-gooders committed to public service and the common good. Tapping into that will be incredibly important and necessary for any kind of paradigm-shifting work!

What advice do you have for future applicants?
Devotion to a career in public service is paramount. As long as you know in your heart that you want to improve others’ lives, you don’t need to sweat the particulars! (Also, I would love to talk to anyone interested in applying!)

Who supported you in the application process either through writing recommendations, advising you, or evaluating your work?

I want to single out three of my professors who have been incredibly supportive and influential: Alice Hearst, my major adviser and mentor; Loretta Ross, my teacher for a course that was transformative for me; and Erin Pineda, another teacher of a course that has shaped my thinking about public service. President McCartney has informally been a mentor and created opportunities, like the Innovation Challenge, that have helped me to try to help others. Marge Litchford, Assistant Dean of Students, has advised me on projects since I first started at Smith and has always pushed me to dream bigger and work harder. This list would not be complete without mentioning the Fellowships Program. Margaret Lamb really went above and beyond in advising and mentoring me throughout this process. Stacie Hagenbaugh was such a joy to work with and I am so grateful for the confidence she gave me from start to finish during the interview prep she coordinated.

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Environmental Science & Policy Junior Named 2019 Udall Scholar

Smith Junior Larissa Holland has been named one of the 55 recipients of the Udall Scholarship, which recognizes students who have demonstrated a commitment to careers in the environment or Native American tribal public policy or health care. A 14-member independent review committee selected the 2019 Udall Scholars from a pool of 443 eligible nominees from 227 colleges and universities. In addition to their commitment to relevantUdall Foundation logo careers, scholars were selected on the basis of their leadership potential, record of public service, and academic achievement.

Holland, an Environmental Science and Policy major and architecture minor from Jonesboro, Maine, was awarded the scholarship in the environmental category. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in environmental sustainability and then return to her home state of Maine to work with rural coastal communities on economic sustainability and help them prepare for the current and future impacts of a changing climate.

Larissa Holland '20, Udall Scholar

Larissa Holland ’20, Udall Scholar

Holland has served as the Student Government’s sustainability committee chair and on the board of Smith’s First Generation Student Alliance, sat as an elected student on the College’s Committee on Sustainability, and was a WOZQ radio DJ.

Dano Weisbord, Director of Sustainability and Campus Planning, has served on the College’s Committee on Sustainability with Holland and is one of her supervisors for a renewable energy research project. He notes that “her passion for policy and the environment is electric.” Holland’s academic adviser, Alex Barron, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science & Policy, suggested that she apply for Udall Scholarship because he could see that she “has the potential to be a tremendous leader in, and advocate for, her community.”

The 2019 Udall Scholars will gather Aug. 6-11 in Tucson, Arizona, to meet one another and program alumni, learn more about the Udall legacy of public service, and interact with community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care and governance.

Smith College students and alumnae can receive support for opportunities like the Udall Scholarship from the Fellowships Program at the Lazarus Center for Career Development. For more information on the Udall Scholarship, visit

Udall Scholarship Program
Udall Scholars 2019 Press Release
Larissa Holland’s Udall Scholar Profile

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2018-19 Successes

The Fellowships Program based in the Lazarus Center for Career Development supports students who apply for a wide range of fellowships and competitive awards. This year, about 60 students and alumnae have applied for 27 separate awards, several still waiting for the outcomes of their applications.

Six current students were nominated for graduate fellowships, including Beinecke, Marshall, and Truman. Five juniors were nominated for the Goldwater Scholarship and Udall Scholarships. Six sophomore STEM Posse students applied and four were finalists for the Jeff Ubben Posse Award, a completion designed to encourage academically excellent students to articulate their leadership skills and ambitions. Both of Smith’s nominees for the Carnegie Junior Fellowship, a highly competitive opportunity to work with top researchers on international policy, were interviewed as finalists. Two seniors reached the finalist stage in the Lead for America Fellowship competition. Congratulations to each student who took the important step of applying for a competitive award, with a special shout out to the individuals who reached the finalist stage of their competitions.

Awardees to date:

Congratulations to all awardees. Thank you to each and every member of the Smith College community who supported all of our applicants and awardees!

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Filed under Admin, Alumnae, Application Cycle, Awardees, Carnegie, DAAD, Goldwater, NSF GRF, Pickering, TAPIF, Udall

Strong candidates for competitive graduate fellowships

Dear faculty advisers and mentors,

Please encourage your advisees who are juniors and very strong candidates for competitive graduate fellowships to indicate their interest in Smith College nomination, endorsement, or support in March. (Seniors and recent alumnae are welcome to do so, too.) You can share a tip of strong candidates here.

The particular fellowships are:

  • Churchill Scholarship (one year of master’s level study in STEM field at Cambridge) – Smith is limited to 2 nominees
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarship (up to four years of graduate study in most fields)
  • Marshall Scholarship (one or two years of master’s level study in any field in the UK; sometimes, three years towards a doctorate supported)
  • Mitchell Scholarship (one year of master’s level study across a broad range of fields in Ireland)
  • Rhodes Scholarship (usually, one or two years of master’s level study across a broad range of fields at Oxford)
  • Knight-Hennessy Scholarship (up to three years of funding for graduate study in any Stanford University graduate program, including professional schools)

Citizenship eligibility: All competitions are open to US citizens. There is now a Rhodes competition for qualifying candidates of any citizenship, with the same expectations of competitiveness applicable. Gates Cambridge is open to all citizenships except UK. Knight-Hennessy is open to all citizenships.

Very competitive candidates for these fellowships will share a few important characteristics:

  • Academic strength. They will have demonstrated high academic achievement, meaning high GPA (likely ~3.8 with 3.7 as a lower limit, explicit in some cases, effective in others), taking challenging course options, and engaging with their academic subjects at the highest levels offered at Smith. These students will be curious, intellectually engaged, and demonstrate well their readiness for graduate level study. These students will be among the best students in their discipline, most likely in the top 15% of their class.
  • Well-articulated personal values, engagement in the world around them, and a track record as an effective performer. Academic strength alone will not secure one of these competitive awards. All competitions seek change-makers and individuals who are engaged in something beyond themselves and their studies. For Churchill, it is definitely the exceptional research track record. For the others, it may be research, too, but also leadership accomplishments, service to others, creativity, and determination in pursuit of personal interests and commitments.
  • A clear vision for their future and a compelling rationale for graduate study plans. Strong candidates know why the particular programs for which they plan to apply are right for them and how they fit into their bigger graduate school and career plans. They are excited by the graduate programs they propose and can explain why both why they are abundantly qualified for their program and their program is the most suitable one for them. Candidates for UK fellowships will have strong reasons to study in the UK rather than the US or elsewhere for this next stage of their educations.

Application for a competitive graduate fellowship is an opportunity for personal and professional development. Faculty members who know the candidates best should be confident that the application process will bring out the requisite characteristics in those students that Smith College nominates, endorses, and supports for these highly competitive graduate fellowships. Good candidates can explain what they want to do. Great candidates will explain why they want to do what they want to do and will describe how they imagine their graduate education will shape their lives and benefit those they choose to serve.

Number to be supported: Only Churchill imposes a firm limit on the number of candidates Smith College may endorse. Therefore, what is important is that we establish well before external applications are due which individuals are our strongest candidates for the fellowships and how we will support them. Our spring nomination round serves these purposes.

Getting started: We start by asking interested students to talk with their mentors about their prospects and then demonstrate their readiness to apply and competitiveness in a short written application. Ad hoc review committees consisting of faculty members and staff members who are familiar with the fellowships will review the applications for support and provide a first evaluation of candidates. In consultation with the applicants’ advisers and potential letter writers, applicants will either be encouraged to prepare their applications for fall submission or to redirect their efforts to other opportunities where they are more likely to find success.

Please encourage the students whom you consider to be strong prospects to contact me ( to express their interest and discuss the application for nomination.

With many thanks for your suggestions,

Margaret Lamb, Ph.D.
Fellowships Adviser
Smith College Fellowships Program
Lazarus Center for Career Development

March 2019

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Filed under Admin, Application Cycle, Faculty advisers, Fellowships, Gates, Knight-Hennessy, Marshall, Mitchell, Nomination, Rhodes

Smith College Alumna Awarded Prestigious Pickering Fellowship

From: Dr. Margaret Lamb, Fellowships Adviser

January 10, 2019

In November, Maria Moscoso ’15 was awarded a 2019 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship following a highly competitive nationwide contest. The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University, supports extraordinary individuals who want to pursue a career in the U.S. Foreign Service.

The Director of the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Program, Lily Lopez-McGee Ph.D., stated, ”We are truly thrilled and excited that Maria will be joining the Pickering Fellowship Program. She demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, leadership and commitment to service during her time at Smith College. These experiences bode well for her success through graduate school and in the Foreign Service as well. I look forward to seeing all that she will accomplish in her career.”

The Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship will support Maria through a two-year graduate program to receive a master’s degree in an area relevant to the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. It will also provide extensive professional development opportunities, including internships, mentors, and skills training. As part of the Pickering Program, Maria will have an internship based in Washington, D.C. working with the U.S. Department of State in summer 2020. In the summer of 2021, the U.S. Department of State will send her overseas to work and to gain hands-on experience with U.S. foreign policy and the work of the Foreign Service. Upon graduation, Maria will become a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, embarking on one of the most challenging and rewarding careers of service to her country. She will work to promote peace and prosperity around the world.

Maria is currently a Program Specialist for Stabilization and Development, Communities in Transition Division, with the international development agency Creative Associates International. Passionate about creating solutions to issues of global concern, her recent experiences include fellowships with the Salzburg Global Seminar in Salzburg, Austria, the Atlantic Expedition in Berlin, Germany, and the KAKEHASHI Bridge Project in Tokyo, Japan. She is a recent Public Policy Fellow with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, where she worked with the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the office of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Maria transferred to Smith College after attending the Honors College of Miami-Dade. She graduated from Smith Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a concentration in Global South Development Studies. While working in Washington, DC, she volunteered as an English teacher, where she worked with adult immigrants through the Washington English Center and acted as a mentor through the Latinas Leading Tomorrow program. Maria hopes to earn her Master’s in International Development with a focus on International Economics. She is passionate about learning new languages, is an avid runner, and hopes to complete a triathlon in the very near future.

The Pickering Fellowship was previously awarded in 2017 to Smith College alumna Marichuy Gomez ‘14 making Maria the second Smith College recipient. In addition, Symone Gosby ’15 was a finalist in the 2019 Pickering Fellowship competition. All three alumnae discuss what they have been doing since graduation, why the Pickering Fellowship was so attractive to them, and who at Smith College helped to prepare them to seek the opportunities they have chosen. Read their responses here.

Further information: The Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Fellowship and its sister program, the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship, are both funded by the US State Department and administered by the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University. Both programs are open to US citizens and support individuals who wish to pursue Foreign Service careers. Candidates apply simultaneously to a two-year graduate program at a US university that will prepare them for their Foreign Service careers (law school is excluded). Each fellowship encourages women, those with financial need, and members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the State Department to apply. A third Bunche Center fellowship program, the Payne Fellowship, supports individuals who wish to enter Foreign Service in USAID.

Reported in “People News,” Grécourt Gate, December 19, 2018.

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Frank Bruni: How to Get the Most Out of College

New York Times Opinion Columnist offers advice on how to get the most out of college. In writing this piece, he draws on his own experience as a member of selection panels for the Mitchell Scholarship Program and survey data that he gathered from 30 recipients of the Mitchell Scholarship.

Read the full article.

Originally published August 19 2018.


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Morgan Schwartz ’18 Earns Goldwater Scholarship

Schwartz is one of just 240 college students in the United States to receive the Goldwater Scholarship, awarded annually to college sophomores and juniors planning to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics or engineering. The one-year scholarship covers up to $7,500 per year toward tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

For Schwartz, it’s an opportunity to build on the great research opportunities she’s had at Smith—and off campus, too.

Read full article.

Published April 7, 2017

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Jamie Cyr ’16 Earns Prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Jamie Cyr ’16 is Smith’s first-ever Gates Cambridge Scholar.

Established in 2000 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship is one of the most prestigious international postgraduate awards, presented annually to a select group of “academically exceptional and socially committed people” who the foundation believes “are likely to be transformative leaders across all fields of endeavour.”

Cyr is one of just 55 Gates Cambridge Scholars named this spring, joining 35 who were announced this past fall.

Read full article.

Published April 11, 2017

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Rhodes Scholarship Now Truly Global

“For the first time in the 116-year history of the Rhodes scholarship, students from anywhere in the world — even Britain — can now qualify for the award to study at Oxford University.”


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Rhodes Scholar, Clarke Knight ’14

Clarke Knight ’14

Clarke Knight ’14 was awarded a 2014 Rhodes Scholarship in the US competition. Clarke is now a Hellman Fellow and PhD student in Environmental Science Policy and Management at UC Berkeley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette article

Connecting Point interview

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