Author: Moscardelli, Vincent

Junior Tae’Niajha Pullen Named 2024-2025 Newman Civic Fellow

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Tae’Niajha Pullen ’25 (CLAS) is a 2024-25 Newman Civic Fellow. (Contributed photo)


Tae’Niajha Pullen ’25 (CLAS), an Africana studies major, has been named a 2024-2025 Newman Civic Fellow. 

The distinction was given by Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities working to advance the public purposes of higher education, to students from 38 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico who were recommended by their campus president or chancellor. 

The fellowship is a yearlong program that recognizes students who stand out for their leadership potential and commitment to creating positive change in communities. It is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education.  


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UConn Junior Neo Lin Named 2024 Goldwater Scholar

Neo Lin ’25 (CLAS) is a 2024 Goldwater Scholar (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)


University of Connecticut junior Neo Lin ’25 (CLAS), an Honors chemistry major from Madison, has been named a Goldwater Scholar. The Goldwater Scholarship is considered the nation’s premier scholarship for undergraduates studying math, natural sciences, and engineering.  Schools can nominate a maximum of four students per year.

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Ten from UConn Earn NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Ten UConn Students and Recent Alumni Earn NSF Graduate Research Fellowships


A total of 10 students with ties to the University of Connecticut have recently earned National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF-GRFP). Those 10 include three undergraduates, three graduate students (including two who earned their undergraduate degrees at UConn) and four UConn alumni.

The oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the NSF-GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding students in NSF-supported disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited institutions in the United States. In addition to a three-year annual stipend of $37,000, plus another $12,000 paid to the student’s home institution, fellows have access to a wide range of professional development opportunities over the course of their graduate careers.


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Learn About Rhodes, Marshall, Churchill, Gates, and Fulbright-UK

Click Here to Access the 2024 Statement of Interest Form

(For Fall 2024 Potential Applicants)

Each year, the University of Connecticut nominates, endorses, and/or advises students who are competing for postgraduate scholarships and fellowships in the United Kingdom, including the Rhodes, Marshall, Churchill, Gates, and Fulbright.  Staff in the Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships administer this process and support/advise students as they craft their applications.

The Rhodes Scholarship funds 1-4 years of graduate study at the University of Oxford (UK) and is awarded to seniors and recent graduates with proven intellectual and academic achievement, integrity of character, interest in and respect for their fellow beings, the ability to lead, and the energy to use their talents to the full.

Please review all eligibility requirements and rules on the official Rhodes Scholarship website.

(Note that the deadline for the Rhodes varies depending on one’s nationality; international students should visit Check your eligibility and apply – Rhodes Trust ( to identify their deadline and to determine if their country requires institutional nomination.)

The Marshall Scholarship funds 1-3 (typically 2) years of graduate study at any university in the UK (including Oxford) and is awarded to seniors and recent graduates who demonstrate exceptional academic merit, leadership potential and ambassadorial potential.

Please review all eligibility requirements and rules on the official Marshall Scholarship website.

The Churchill Scholarship, which funds one year of graduate study at the University of Cambridge (UK) and is awarded to graduating seniors on the basis of academic and research achievement. The Churchill Foundation seeks to provide accomplished scientists, mathematicians, and engineers with the tools to maximize their future impact. UConn may nominate up to two students per year.  Students who wish to be considered for this award must apply directly to the University of Cambridge by October 15.

Please review all eligibility requirements and rules on the official Churchill Scholarship website.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which funds graduate study at the University of Cambridge (UK), does not require nomination. It is, however, equally competitive. Students who wish to be considered for this award must apply directly to the University of Cambridge by October 15.

Please review all eligibility requirements and rules on the official Gates Cambridge Scholarship website and visit ONSF or work with a faculty member for guidance through the process.


(For any of the scholarships listed above, students should make an appointment with Vin Moscardelli, Director of ONSF, to discuss their eligibility before applying for nomination.)


The US-UK Fulbright Commission administers more than 40 awards in a range of disciplines in partnership with universities across the United Kingdom, as well as a single Open Award for postgraduate study or independent research projects in any recognized UK university.  To learn more about Fulbright opportunities in the UK and elsewhere, visit ONSF’s Fulbright U.S. Student Program page and then reach out to UConn’s Fulbright Program Advisor Dr. Michael Cunningham via Email or Nexus.

The British Council is a great resource for non-U.S. students who wish to learn more about scholarships that support postgraduate study in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Information Sessions:

ONSF will host virtual information sessions on these awards in April and early May, the first of which will take place at noon on Tuesday, April 30 (follow the link for more details, including the Webex link).


How to Apply – Fall 2024 Deadlines

To enter the Rhodes, Marshall, and/or Churchill Scholarship competitions at the national level, you must first be nominated by the University of Connecticut through a process managed by the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships.

To be considered for nomination, you must complete the following:

  • Complete the “Statement of Interest” form linked at the top of this page as soon as possible.  ONSF staff will begin reviewing submitted forms in April.  (After May 31, interested candidates should Email Vin Moscardelli to discuss their candidacies and get further instructions, access to the campus application, etc.)
  • Submit complete internal applications by 4:00pm, Thursday, August 29, 2024. (Note that while most of these applications require 4-8 letters of recommendation, potential applicants only need to submit three letters by the time of this campus deadline.)

A faculty review panel will review the application materials and interview a subset of the strongest candidates.  From this group, the committee selects the eventual nominees who will advance to the national competitions.  The deadlines for all of these awards appear below:

  • Rhodes Scholarship (non-U.S. applicants):  Varies by country (some are as early as June)
  • Rhodes Scholarship (U.S. and Canadian applicants):  October 2, 2024 (campus deadline Aug. 29)
  • Marshall Scholarship:  September 19, 2024 (campus deadline Aug. 29)
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program:  October 8 (campus deadline Sept. 9)
  • Gates-Cambridge:  Mid-October 2024 (n/a)
  • Churchill Scholarship:  November 1, 2024 (campus deadline Sept. 26)

Meet UConn’s 2024 Beinecke Scholarship Nominee

Makenzie Smith is UConn’s 2024 Beinecke Scholarship Nominee (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)



Each year, UConn nominates one student for the Beinecke Scholarship, which is awarded to juniors who aspire to enter a master’s or doctoral program in the arts, humanities or social sciences after they complete their undergraduate degree.  This year’s nominee is Makenzie Smith ’25 (SFA), of Guilford, New Hampshire.  Makenzie is a University Scholar majoring in Art History. Particularly interested in the intersection between art and human rights, she is conducting individualized research pertaining to the joining of these disciplines and their unexpected meeting point within the walls of art institutions. At UConn, she is an intern at the William Benton Museum of Art, where she works researching and writing wall labels for an upcoming collection rotation. In the Spring of 2024, she will be co-curating an exhibition around the theme of Storage, collaborating with her colleagues in the practicum, UConn’s Design Center, and contemporary artists from the U.S. and abroad. In her free time, Makenzie enjoys reading and knitting her friends and family imperfect (but heartfelt!) hats and mittens. Upon graduating, Makenzie will pursue a Ph.D in Art History, specializing in contemporary art and activism.


Congratulations to Makenzie and all of UConn’s 2024 national scholarship nominees!


Lucas Ruiz ’23 (CLAS) Nominated for Gaither Jr. Fellows Program

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Lucas Ruiz ’23 (CLAS) is UConn’s nominee for the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program.


Each year, through the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows program, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace offers approximately 15 one-year fellowships to uniquely qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year. They are selected from a pool of nominees nominated by participating universities and colleges. James C. Gaither Junior Fellows work as research assistants to Carnegie’s senior scholars.  UConn’s 2024 nominee is Lucas Ruiz.  Learn more about Lucas below.


Lucas Ruiz ’23 (CLAS) is from East Hartford, CT. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in May of 2023, earning a B.A. in history with Cum Laude honors. During his time at UConn, he conducted six months of independent research that he used to write his thesis, “Wrong Horse: Kim Koo & The Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy in Korea, 1945-1946,” which he presented at the Southwest Conference on Asian Studies in Houston, TX, and which was accepted into the Kim Koo Foundation Archive in Seoul. Lucas was the UConn History Department’s 2023 Roger N. Buckley Award winner and, during his senior year, served as the Secretary for the Korean Student Association. In the future, Lucas intends to attend law school before initiating a career in international and national security law to work on topics in U.S. foreign relations such as nuclear policy, peace-building, and Northeast Asian diplomacy.  Lucas is a 2024 recipient of the Scoville Peace Fellowship – the first UConn student ever to be selected for that program.


Meet UConn’s 2024 Udall Scholarship Nominees

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UConn’s 2024 Udall Scholarship Nominees: Kanika Chaturvedi ’25 (CLAS), Amanda Stowe ’25 (CAHNR), and Andy Zhang ’25 (CLAS, CAHNR)


The University of Connecticut has nominated three students for the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship, which is awarded to college sophomores or juniors who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the environment through participation in campus activities or service to their community.  Learn more about UConn’s nominees below.


Kanika Chaturvedi ’26 (CLAS) is a sophomore from Danbury, CT. She is an Honors student currently majoring in environmental studies with a minor in psychology. Driven by her dedication to sustainability and environmental justice, she actively contributes to the cause as a Sustainability Intern at UConn’s Office of Sustainability. There, she spearheads initiatives aimed at promoting environmental justice while also playing a pivotal role in the communications team to foster greater community engagement on environmental issues. Kanika helps supervise the Eco-Captain program, as well, to ensure that awareness about sustainability is widespread among the student body. Beyond her environmental endeavors, she serves as the Philanthropy Chair for the Hindu Students Organization, striving to enrich UConn’s campus by integrating her cultural heritage. Kanika plans to pursue a law degree, and hopes to specialize in environmental law, driven by her desire to advocate for those disproportionately affected by environmental injustices.


Amanda Stowe ’26 (CAHNR) is a sophomore Honors student from Newtown majoring in environmental sciences with a concentration in sustainable systems and a minor in ecology & evolutionary biology (EEB). Amanda is a Sustainability Intern for the Office of Sustainability, playing a pivotal role on the communications team and in planning conservation and sustainability focused initiatives. Amanda is also an ambassador for the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources and is the secretary of the UConn Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS). This past summer Amanda was a Conservation Intern for the Newtown Forest Association, where she conducted field research on invasive species, and a Field Research Intern for Global Treks and Adventures on the Big Island, Hawaii, where she researched species and conservation efforts on the island. Amanda aspires to pursue a career as a conservation scientist, protecting endangered species and restoring threatened habitats.


Andy Zhang ’26 (CLAS & CAHNR), from Sandy Hook, CT, is a second-year student double-majoring in economics and environmental science with minors in social responsibility & impact in business and environmental science & policy. He is passionate about delving deeper into the intersection of economic, social, and environmental factors as well as the role that businesses can play in mitigating the climate crisis. On campus, he serves as an intern at the Office of Sustainability, Difference Maker Mentor for the Natural Resources Conservation Academy, and student ambassador for the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources.


Congratulations to all three of UConn’s 2024 Udall Scholarship nominees!


UConn Among National Leaders in Fulbright U.S. Student Program

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UConn is a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Top Producing Institution


The University of Connecticut has been recognized among the top producers of Fulbright U.S. Student Program award recipients for the first time in school history. These results are from U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and were featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

UConn had 10 students named to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program in 2023-24, a record-setting number for the school.


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Meet UConn’s Truman Scholarship Nominees

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UConn’s 2024 Truman Scholarship Nominees: Dylan Steer ’25 (CLAS), Alan Cavagnaro ’25 (CLAS), Yana Tartakovskiy ’25 (BUS), Kamara Nyahuma ’25 (CLAS), Krithika Santhanam ’25 (CLAS)


The University of Connecticut has nominated five students for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which is awarded to college juniors with exceptional leadership potential and commitment to a career in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in public service. It requires a nomination from UConn in order to enter the competition. Scholars are awarded up to $30,000 to pursue graduate studies, receive pre-professional/graduate advising from the Foundation and are invited to participate in internships and other programs.  Learn more about UConn’s nominees below.


Alan Cavagnaro ’25 (CLAS), from South Windsor, CT, is a junior double-majoring in political science and urban community studies while enrolled in UConn’s SPP Fast-track program. His passion for public service ignited when he decided to run for local office at age 19. As an elected Planning and Zoning Commissioner, he enjoys helping guide the direction of his community, navigating between complex issues of school population, housing affordability, and open space. As the Campaign Coordinator for DesegregateCT, a statewide pro-homes policy nonprofit, Alan invests his time into sustainable land use and affordable housing policy. He played an integral part in getting the Work Live Ride bill through committee in 2023. His work at DesegregateCT also includes leading the candidate and commissioner training program, which saw 79% of attendees win their respective elections. Previously, Alan interned for the Connecticut General Assembly and Housing Committee in 2022 and helped pass the Fair Rent Commission bill through his internship. He also served as Chair of Future Leaders in Politics CT and was able to hold debates and rallies to engage students. After graduation, Alan intends to pursue an MPA with a continued focus on public service to continue his mission of social justice through meaningful policy.


Kamara Nyhauma ’25 (CLAS) is a junior majoring in history with a double minor in English and human development & family sciences (HDFS). Kamara is an involved student on campus, particularly in student government, where she works as the Director of Academic Affairs. She is currently conducting research with Dr. Marketa Burnett on Black family interaction processes and the perseverance of young Black girls in STEM. She also serves as a Floor Mentor for UConn’s newest learning community for young Black women. Upon graduation, Kamara plans to attend law school, after which she intends to pursue a career as a federal defense attorney. Whether through the local, state, or even national service, Kamara is committed to a lifetime of policy advocacy. She is passionate about ensuring that everyone, particularly marginalized groups, is treated fairly and respectfully by the legal system. Kamara believes she has a part to play in creating laws and policies that foster justice for all people. She wants to become a fierce public servant, living up to the meaning of her last name Nyahuma – “a helper of others.”


Krithika Santhanam ’25 (CLAS) is an Honors student double majoring in molecular and cell biology as well as an Individualized major in “health policy and racial disparities.” She is passionate about increasing awareness on the influence of policy on health outcomes, specifically in underserved populations. Through various roles, Krithika shares her authentic experience, hoping to positively influence incoming and first-year students at the university. On campus, she is a tour guide, a Peer Research Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Research, co-President of Pre-Medical Society, Vice President of the Learning Community Executive Council, a member of the 6th cohort of BOLD Scholars, and a 2024 Leadership Legacy Experience participant. At UConn Health, she conducts cell biology research and volunteers for UConn Health Leaders, a preventative screening program for the Social Determinants of Health project. In the future, she hopes to become a physician and policy advocate to continue her leadership and service efforts.


Dylan Steer ’25 (CLAS) is an Honors student from Stratford majoring environmental studies and political science. Dylan is active in the sustainability space at UConn, serving as Sustainability Intern in the Office of Sustainability since 2023, President of EcoHusky, and co-founder of Fossil Fuel Free UConn. One of five student members of President Radenka Maric’s Carbon Reduction Working Group, Dylan also held a fellowship with SustainableCT in the summer of 2023, during which he worked with municipalities within the Metropolitan Council of Governments, assisting with sustainability programming, certifications, and other initiatives. Born in Ankara, Turkey, Dylan co-founded the Turkish Student Alliance cultural club and served as vice-president. When he’s not busy saving the planet, Dylan enjoys playing board games, thrifting, and watching films.


Yana Tartakovskiy ’25 (BUS) is a junior studying healthcare management, with a minor in political science. A daughter of Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Yana is dedicated to highlighting the values of the Jewish community on campus by having served on the executive student board of UConn Hillel, the center for Jewish life on campus. Yana is also heavily involved with a growing chapter of Jewish on Campus at UConn, where Yana advocates on behalf of Jewish students by working with Jewish organizations on campus and the administration to fight rising incidents of antisemitism. Yana hopes to earn a joint J.D. and M.P.H. degree by combining her interests in the legal field and healthcare. Yana discovered her passion for healthcare law when Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022. She is currently researching the effects of this decision after having recently received a UConn IDEA Grant. Yana is also involved with UConn’s Mock Trial Society team, showcasing her dedication for critical thinking and public speaking in the form of arguing as a mock attorney.


Congratulations to all five of UConn’s 2024 Truman Scholarship nominees!

UConn Senior Named Pickering Fellow

Guerlina Philogene ’24 poses for a photo in the Business Building on Jan. 26, 2024. (Sydney Herdle/UConn Photo)


University of Connecticut student Guerlina Philogene ’24 (BUS, CLAS) has been named a fellow in the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Program, which is funded by the United States Department of State and administered by Howard University.

The Pickering Program prepares students for foreign service careers in the Department of State and welcomes the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the State Department.

Philogene grew up in Stamford after immigrating from Haiti as a young girl. She originally attended Norwalk Community College before enrolling at UConn and is a European business, analytics and information management, and German studies major.


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