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Calling All Motivated Scholars
The Office of National Scholarship Advisement wants you
UMass Amherst Goldwater Scholar Benjamin Waldman '13 in the lab.

In the 2011-12 academic year, a record three UMass Amherst undergraduates were named Goldwater Scholars for Excellence in Science, Math, and Engineering, an honor that goes to no more than 300 students nationally.

For UMass Amherst students, the quest for a competitive national scholarship like the Fulbright begins in the Commonwealth Honors College Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) in Goodell Hall, where Professor Susan Whitbourne has been helping students find and apply for national scholarships since 1999.

“Many talented students have used our services and won Fulbrights, Goldwater, Marshall, and Truman scholarships, and others,” Whitbourne says. “Many, many more UMass students should apply. We serve all students who are willing to push themselves hard and work for scholarships.”

This summer Hannah Barrett ’12 is traveling to Australia on a prestigious Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship to research stigma and stereotyping as they relate to individuals with hearing loss. “It’s a big deal to be invited to do research in a foreign country for nine months,” she says. “I was excited and overwhelmed when I got the news.”

In the 2011-12 academic year, a record three UMass Amherst undergraduates were named Goldwater Scholars for Excellence in Science, Math, and Engineering, an honor that goes to no more than 300 students nationally. One of the winners, microbiology major Benjamin Waldman ’13 (above), says that Whitbourne’s guidance was instrumental to his award. “Her experience with the application process was definitely a major factor,” he says. “ONSA was great with deadlines and keeping everything on track, and Professor Whitbourne gave me a lot of useful feedback on my personal statement.”

The earlier a student starts the scholarship search, the better, Whitbourne says. “We like to see them during their sophomore year. Along the way, we can provide advice on applications, recommendations, study and research proposals, personal statements, curriculum vitae, and interviews.”

Even if an application doesn’t result in a scholarship, she says, the hard work pays off in other ways, such as giving students a head start on graduate school applications. And when a scholarship is won, Whitbourne says, “The students are on cloud nine and I am on cloud ten.”

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