Fellowships Office Celebrates Two Big Firsts

Fellowships In the four years since its founding, the Drexel Fellowships Office has helped dozens of students win prestigious awards. And this year, the Fellowships Office helped two Honors students achieve two big firsts for the University —Biology/Environmental Science student Elliott Chiu became Drexel’s first Udall Scholar, and Economics student Nevena Bosnic became the first Drexel student selected for the Carnegie Junior Fellows Program.

“What’s remarkable is that both of these students have really made such exceptional use of their time at Drexel, and of the unique structure and opportunities that Drexel allows,” says Rona Buchalter, Director of the Fellowships Office. “They are both highly motivated students who have worked very hard to find opportunities forthemselves and then done what’s needed to make their visions real.”

Both students started exploring Drexel’s opportunities soon after arriving at the University. Chiu dove into the STAR program the summer after his freshman year, conducting research with a professor.  Then “he studied abroad twice, first in Egypt and then on Bioko Island, off the west coast ofAfrica, which he followed up with a co-op there. Elliott has returned now to Bioko Island, where he is pursuing research for his thesis on wildlifeconservation,” says Buchalter. She also notes that this isn’t the first time that Chiu applied for the Udall Scholarship, which is awarded to students dedicated to careers related to the environment. After one unsuccessful attempt at applying last year, he applied this year “with renewed focus.”

As for Bosnic, she “co-oped first in an industry setting in Crete as a Vidalakis Cretan Scholar, and then with the Economics Section of the U.S. Embassy in Athens, during the time of greatest upheaval there,” says Buchalter. Her Carnegie fellowship will send her to Washington, D.C., where she’ll work with the International Economics program with Dr. Uri Dadush. She’s thrilled by how well the Carnegie program aligns with her career goal to working in global economic policy.

Both Bosnic and Chiu’s programs are incredibly competitive. The Udall Scholarship awards funds to only 80 students each year, and the Carnegie program “typically appoints just 8-10Junior Fellows each year, out of a pool of somewhere around 275 students, each of whom has been nominated by their home institutions (often the most elite schools in the nation),” says Buchalter. “Each of the program areas within Carnegie has just one fellow – Nevena will be the 2012 Junior Fellow for Carnegie’s International Economics program.

The Fellowships Office played a significant role in the students’ success. “We helped them understand the high expectations that these programs in particular have and then helped them to shape their ideas to try to reach that high level,” says Buchalter. “We supported the students through the stress, the anxiety, and then now the excitement. We are delighted to help them celebrate, too.”

Students who are interested in applying for these or other fellowship programscan contact the Drexel Fellowships Office.