Meet UConn’s 2017 Portz Scholarship Nominee

The National Collegiate Honors Council’s John and Edythe Portz Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship provides students in good standing in honors programs of NCHC member institutions support to conduct creative and innovative research that crosses boundaries. The fellowship program invites applications from individuals who wish to undertake cross-disciplinary research or from a team of two students from different disciplines who propose a single collaborative project. The project will be funded for a period of up to 18 months with the expectation that upon its completion the Fellowship recipient will make a presentation of the research at the annual NCHC conference.  UConn’s NCHC Portz Nominee is chosen each spring from the pool of University Scholars.


Rebecca Hill (’18 CLAS) is a junior Honors student and University Scholar from Middlebury, CT.  She is double majoring in English and Economics and she aspires to be a novelist.  A former Holster Scholar, Rebecca currently serves as the co-Fiction Editor of the Long River Review, UConn’s award-winning literary magazine. Her University Scholar project, The Western Madwoman:  A Feminist History and Economic Study in Novel Form, conducted under the direction of English Professor Ellen Litman, combines her diverse scholarly and intellectual interests into a novel that examines two feminine literary archetypes of mental illness, anorexia and hysteria, and the socio-economic contexts in which they exist. In the spring of 2016, Rebecca won the Jennie Hackman Memorial Prize for Fiction, which is awarded each year by the UConn English Department. Outside of her literary interests, Rebecca’s commitment to social justice has led her to participate in a wide range of community outreach alternative service breaks in locations ranging from Birmingham, AL to New York City.  In recognition of these and other efforts, she will be representing the Honors Program at the NEW Leadership New England program at St. Anselm’s College in Vermont this summer.  When she is not busy writing or trying to change the world, she enjoys rock climbing.