Published July 17, 2014
UB students have received Marshall, Fulbright, Goldwater and other prestigious scholarships in the past year.
And the university hopes to build on that success, which is why the Office of Undergraduate Education recently appointed Elizabeth Colucci as coordinator of nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships.
Colucci formerly was an assistant director of the Honors College, a job that included helping students write scholarship applications. In her new role, Colucci will focus on building programs that increase the number of UB undergraduate and graduate students winning national awards.
“We want to find students with a spark of something special so they can learn about fellowships and scholarships early in their career,” says Colucci. “If they can make wise choices about how to spend their summers and become more competitive, our students can put themselves in strong positions to apply.”
In the past year, UB students have been awarded a Marshall Scholarship, the university’s first in 25 years and second overall; two Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, along with two honorable mentions; two National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowships; two Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships; and one full Fulbright grant.
“We’ve had some tremendous successes with students competing for nationally recognized awards, largely through Elizabeth’s leadership,” says Mara Huber, associate dean for undergraduate education, undergraduate research and experiential learning.
“Through this expanded position and also our new undergraduate suite at 24 Capen Hall, students will now have access to more support, along with expanded experiential learning opportunities,” Huber says. “Since virtually every competitive fellowship and scholarship requires extensive learning outside the classroom, striving for these awards can help students further their academic goals while supporting their individual interests and passions.”
To further support student participation in experiential learning, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (CURCA) will be reorganized under the Office of Undergraduate Education. Tim Tryjankowski serves as director of CURCA, which connects students with mentored research opportunities and funding.
In addition to supporting students in their applications, Colucci will offer scholarships and fellowship development programs.
The Spark Program, a seminar Colucci ran through the Honors College, will continue with her new role. The six-week program, which runs through the spring semester, prepares freshmen to apply for academic awards. Colucci plans to open the program to sophomores during the fall semester. Students who maintain a high grade-point average are eligible to take part in the program if nominated by a faculty member.
During the spring, Colucci also will offer a Fulbright development program and an NSF graduate fellowship development program to juniors to increase the number of students who apply for each award. Workshops will be available to incoming graduate students as well.
Colucci also will work with several UB departments and programs to recruit students, including Cora P. Maloney College, the Daniel Acker Scholars Program, the Undergraduate Academies, the Honors College and UB Athletics.