Illustration for the Office of Scholars and Fellowships

UR propels student success through prestigious scholarships

March 20, 2021

Research & Innovation

In 2017, President Ronald A. Crutcher established the Office of Scholars and Fellowships as a way to further advance the reach and reputation of the University and demonstrate the academic caliber of UR students.

“Our students already had a great track record for securing nationally recognized scholarships and fellowships,” Crutcher said. “The Office of Scholars and Fellowships has built on that strength, further elevating our students and providing even more access to these prestigious opportunities.”

The office is the hub for helping students explore and pursue externally funded scholarship and fellowship opportunities. UR’s first director of scholars and fellowships, Dana Kuchem, oversees the efforts, which previously were managed in numerous offices across campus.

Many students believe national fellowships are just for 4.0 students. That’s simply not true.
headshot of Dana Kuchem
Dana Kuchem

Director of scholars and fellowships

“The process of merely applying for a national fellowship prompts students to reflect upon their talents, clarify their goals, and strategize how to best present themselves for an opportunity,” Kuchem said. “These same skills are essential when applying to graduate schools or seeking employment, and certainly being selected for a national award will help a student stand out as well.” 

In its first three years of operation, more than 800 potential applicants visited the Office of Scholars and Fellowships. More than 300 applied for opportunities, and 118 of those applicants were recognized in some way — as a finalist or receiving an honorable mention. The office has assisted more than 75 students and recent alums with securing prestigious scholarship and fellowship opportunities since it opened.

“Our main goal is to provide a central resource to match UR students and recent alums with opportunities that make sense for their academic and professional pursuits,” Kuchem said. “We have students come in to talk about opportunity ‘x,’ but while they are with us they learn about opportunities ‘y’ and ‘z’ as well.”

Since the office opened on campus, UR has seen its first Beinecke, Boren, and Luce fellows. UR students are always competitive for Goldwater, Gilman, Critical Language, and Fulbright awards.

“Many students believe national fellowships are just for 4.0 students. That’s simply not true,” Kuchem said. “Fellowships are about finding the right fit for your qualifications and goals, and a wide range of students can be competitive.”