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New Rising Scholars Program Explain Fellowship Application Process

Launching this month, a new Rising Scholars Program aims to encourage Huskies to explore national fellowships and external awards and discover the many opportunities the application process provides.

Any first-year students who have earned a 3.0 GPA during their first semester at NIU can join the program. They’ll receive invites during the spring semester of their first year and be invited to attend a Rising Scholars Conference in the fall of their sophomore year.

At the conference, they’ll be introduced to the landscape of fellowship and propelled to take advantage of important undergraduate resume builders at NIU and beyond.

“NIU students have the talent and skills necessary to earn these awards,” Provost Beth Ingram said. “NIU has an obligation to support them in building the resume necessary to be nationally competitive. These awards are stepping stones to graduate school, opportunities to study in other countries and more.”

The Rising Scholars Program will show Huskies from a wide variety of majors and backgrounds that it’s worth the effort to explore fellowships and external awards—awards from outside the university that fund an array of valuable academic experiences, such as research, employment, leadership, language learning and study abroad opportunities.

Prestigious national fellowships are funded by the national government, private foundations and other entities. To be competitive for such awards, students need to start early and understand the award process.

“While several NIU students have had success in the past, we want to lay the groundwork for a wider pipeline for greater national fellowship success in the future,” said Jason Goode, Ed.D., who will be spearheading the program as newly appointed National Fellowship Advisor.

“We want to demystify the national fellowship process and show NIU students that it’s worth making the effort to apply for these many opportunities,” Goode said.

Students involved in the program will gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to complete and submit competitive applications. But the benefits of the program extend far beyond the application process, Goode said.

Connected through a Microsoft Teams group until they graduate from NIU, Rising Scholars will receive personalized guidance and take part in workshops on topics, such as developing resumes, writing personal statements and soliciting letters of recommendation.

Whether they’re selected as recipients or not, Rising Scholars will gain networking and mentorship opportunities. They’ll improve their writing skills, clarify their goals and learn to communicate their interests to a wide range of audiences.

Huskies interested in fellowship advising are invited to schedule an appointment with Goode. And faculty and staff are asked to encourage eligible students to join the Rising Scholars Program.

All involved emphasized the program is not limited to University Honors students.

“Rising Scholars is a program that helps students believe in themselves as national fellowship candidates,” said Andrea Radasanu, director of the University Honors program.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.

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