Author: Moscardelli, Vincent

UConn Sophomore Participates in Fulbright UK Summer Institute

Photo of UKSI Participant Chapal Bhavsar
Fulbright UK Summer Institute participant Chapal Bhavsar ’26 (BUS)


UConn sophomore Chapal Bhavsar ’26 (BUS) spent four weeks this summer in England as part of the prestigious Fulbright U.K. Summer Institute. The Danbury native and finance major was selected by the US-UK Fulbright Commission to study at the University of Exeter’s Summer Institute on Global Sustainability, an interdisciplinary program emphasizing climate change, sustainability, and civic responsibility for the future of the planet.

“As a Fulbright summer program participant, I was able to explore the University of Exeter and all that it has to offer in addition to further exploring my interests in a more interconnected and sustainable world,” says Bhavsar. “I hope the work I did will enable me to be a more involved and global citizen and the knowledge I brought back will help me create broader connections among my community.”


Continue reading on UConn Today . . . . 

Doctoral Student Named to Inaugural Class of Quad Fellows

Photo of Anagha Payyambally
UConn Graduate Student Anagha Payyambally is a 2023 Quad Fellow (Contributed photo)


UConn doctoral student Anagha Payyambally has been named to the first class of Quad Fellows, an initiative of the governments of the United States, Australia, India, and Japan. This first-of-its-kind scholarship program is designed to build ties among the next generation of scientists and technologists. The Quad Fellowship is operated in consultation with a nongovernmental task force composed of academic, foreign policy, and private-sector leaders from each Quad country.

Payyambally, a native of Kerala, India, is a second-year doctoral student in marine sciences at UConn Avery Point, and plans on completing her degree in 2027.

The Quad program is highly competitive, with only 100 students selected for the initial class among 3,600 initial applicants. Payyambally is just one of 25 students from India to be accepted as a Quad Scholar.


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UConn Junior Recounts Experience as 2023 Rangel Scholar

Mariam Vargas ’25 (CLAS), a junior political science major, was one of 15 individuals nationally who took part in the 2023 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program this summer. Selection to the Washington, D.C.-based program is highly competitive, as almost 1,000 students applied for the 15 spots.

Mariam Vargas. Mariam Vargas ’25 (contributed photo)

The Rangel Summer Enrichment Program is a US State Department program administered by Howard University through a cooperative agreement with the Bureau of Global Talent Management. The program provides undergraduate students with a deeper appreciation of current issues and trends in international affairs, a greater understanding of career opportunities in international affairs, and the enhanced knowledge and skills to pursue such careers.

The program’s goals are to promote greater diversity and excellence in the US foreign service. The program was named to honor Charles Rangel, who represented New York City in Congress from 1971 to 2017.

Vargas spent six weeks in Washington, D.C., learning from diplomats, foreign service officers, and other leading foreign affairs professionals.


Continue reading at UConn Today . . . .

UConn Graduate Earns Prestigious Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship

Phi Kappa Phi Logo


Haley Brennan ’20 (CAHNR) has been awarded a fellowship worth $8,500 by Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Brennan is one of 62 recipients nationwide to receive a Phi Kappa Phi fellowship for the 2023-24 academic year.

Brennan received a dual bachelor’s degree from UConn in environmental health and then an individualized major in spirituality, culture, and health. She recently began a dual degree program at the University of Miami to pursue a doctor of medicine degree and also a master’s of public health.


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Ten Named To Fulbright US Student Program For 2023-24


Ten UConn students have been selected as recipients of a grant through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the 2023-24 academic year. The program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects or for English teaching assistantships around the world. Students meet, work, live with, and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.

UConn had 19 semifinalists for Fulbright Student Program awards, which includes the 10 finalists and an alternate. A total of 20 UConn students completed UConn’s campus application process for the 2023-24 Fulbright round.


Continue reading on UConn Today . . .


Eleven UConn Students Named Gilman Scholars

11 UConn Students Named 2023 Gilman Scholars


The Gilman Scholarship, a prestigious academic award congressionally funded through the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at the State Department, has been awarded to 11 UConn students for the current application cycle. The funding supports broadening student participation in study abroad programs and encourages travel to diverse locations around the globe, along with intensive language study and internship experiences.

“We are thrilled to see our campus outreach efforts and student advising for the Gilman scholarship result in this level of success,” says Valerie Jenkelunas, Experiential Global Learning (EGL) advisor and community liaison specialist. “We had a total of 26 students apply from UConn, and 11 were chosen for awards between $3,000 and $5,000. This surpasses the statistical average of applicants awarded nationally.”

With more than 13,000 applicants from over 450 colleges each year, the Gilman Scholarship program is a highly competitive scholarship. Approximately one in four applicants are selected to receive the scholarship.

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Four Graduate Students and Six Alumni Win NSF Fellowships

Four UConn graduate students and six alumni receive 2023 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships


Four UConn graduate students and six alumni have recently earned National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF-GRFP).

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 $34,000, 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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UConn Junior Romir Raj Named 2023 Goldwater Scholar

Photo of Romir Raj (ENG '24)
Romir Raj, ENG ’24, is a 2023 Goldwater Scholar (Sydney Herdle/UConn Photo)

University of Connecticut junior Romir Raj ’24 (ENG), an Honors student majoring in biomedical engineering and native of Glastonbury, 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.

Read more in UConn Today . . .


Scholarships to Study in the UK – Call for Applications


Click Here to Access the 2023 Statement of Interest Form

Scholarships to Study in the U.K. (Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, and Churchill Scholarships)


If you are a rising senior, a current senior, or a recent graduate interested in applying for the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Gates, or Churchill Scholarships to the UK or Ireland, we want to hear from you!


To enter the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, and/or Churchill Scholarship competitions, students 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 for one of these awards, you must complete the following:


  • Complete the “Statement of Interest” form linked at the top of this page (and found at before the May 31, 2023 deadline. Submitting the statement does not commit you to applying, so if you think you’re interested, let us know.  (If you wish to apply after the statement of intent is due, please Email Vin Moscardelli to discuss your candidacy and get further instructions.)


  • For the Rhodes, Marshall, and/or Mitchell, students must submit complete internal applications (submission instructions to follow) by 4:00pm, Thursday, August 24, 2023. (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.)  For the Churchill, the campus deadline is Thursday, September 28, 2023.


A panel of faculty, staff, and administrators will review the application materials and interview a subset of the strongest candidates for each award.  From this group, the committee selects the eventual nominees who will represent UConn in the national competitions.  Applications are due to the respective foundations on September 19 (Marshall), September 28 (Mitchell), and October 2 (Rhodes).  Applications for the Churchill Scholarship are due to the Churchill Foundation on November 1.


Students applying for Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants to the UK or Fulbright UK Summer Institutes are not required to complete the Statement of Interest and should instead visit for the most up-to-date information.  Student may also contact incoming Fulbright Program Adviser Dr. Michael Cunningham directly to discuss their interest and eligibility.  He is available via Nexus or Email.

Meet UConn’s 2023 Udall Scholarship Nominees

Photo of Udall Nominees
Juniors Samantha Gove and Claire Lee, UConn’s 2023 nominees for the Udall Scholarship


The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation is committed to increasing awareness of the importance of the nation’s natural resources. The Udall Scholarship awards up to $7,000 and access to the Udall Scholars network to sophomores and juniors who are passionate about the environment (in any field), OR who are Native American and intend to pursue careers in Native health care or tribal public policy. 


The Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships is pleased to introduce UConn’s 2023 nominees for the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship.  Congratulations to these outstanding young leaders.


Samantha Gove (CLAS ’24) is a junior at the University of Connecticut double majoring in human rights and sociology with a minor in psychological sciences. She is a proud member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, and she has worked to increase representation and resources for Native and Indigenous students as a mentor and an advocate both on and beyond the campus community. To do this, she founded a mentorship program for first-year Indigenous students, coordinates a mentorship program for local Native youth, and is spearheading a workshop series on minoritized languages. In addition, Samantha received a SHARE Award to support her research examining Native American victims of fatal police encounters. Through this work, she has become passionate about reducing anti-Indigenous violence in the United States through better representation in educational spaces and through justice system reform. After graduating, Samantha plans to pursue a JD/MA in American Indian studies in preparation for a career as a policy analyst. To honor her efforts, she has been named a 2022 Udall, BOLD, and Cohen Scholar and a Newman Civic Fellow. 


Claire Lee (CLAS ’24) from Glastonbury, CT, is a junior Honors student pursuing a dual degree in ecology and evolutionary biology and political science. She currently works as an undergraduate research assistant for Prof. Scott Wallace of the Department of Journalism, exploring literature that parallels U.S. interventionist policies and practices in Central America of the late 20th century to the present. Previously, she researched the former Brazilian administration’s environmental policies and human rights violations involving the Amazon and indigenous communities. Claire works as an intern for UConn’s Office of Sustainability, championing the university’s sustainability goals and coordinating initiatives in collaboration with other stakeholders across campus. Stemming from this involvement, and paired with her coursework interests, Claire founded the university’s first student-run environmental symposium, Ecoposium, last fall to cultivate a space for open, diverse discussions and to promote environmental literacy within the university body. Beyond school, Claire enjoys cooking, staying active, and listening to a variety of music. After graduation, she plans to obtain a J.D. and pursue a career in environmental law. 



To learn more about the Udall and other nationally-competitive scholarship and fellowship opportunities, visit the Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships and click “Talk to an Advisor.”