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Faculty Support and Resources

Faculty mentors are very important in the fellowship application process because you know your students and your disciplines the best. You are best placed to encourage your students to apply for an opportunity, so I encourage you to refer promising students to me for a consultation about opportunities they might pursue, and the earlier, the better. You can make a referral very quickly by submitting this Faculty Referral form

While many fellowships are for graduate study, applications often need to be submitted during the junior year, and there are opportunities like summer programs and internships open to undergraduate students, as well as some excellent undergraduate scholarships like the Udall, Boren, and Goldwater. On the other hand, some opportunities are only open to graduating seniors, graduate students (and even alumni may apply for some), so it’s often not too late to refer a great student, either.

As the fellowships advisor, I can help your students find opportunities that fit their interests and goals and navigate the application process, but your students will rely on you for letters of recommendation and, in some cases, review of application components such as research proposals that are specific to your discipline.

I will support faculty who are helping in the process by making sure students are prepared when they request letters or other assistance and by offering help as needed with letters of recommendations and the application systems that you may need to navigate to submit them. If you ever have any questions about the advising process or want to know about opportunities for students in your discipline, please contact me at labartlett@fhsu.edu. If you’d like to search for opportunities for your students, you’ll find links to databases of awards on the Student Support and Resources page.

Letters of Recommendation

Selection committees for national awards receive dozens of impressive and worthy applications. Your letter of recommendation can distinguish a student from the paper crowd and prove decisive in the selection process. Fort Hays State University students have strong faculty support, and we appreciate your help. I encourage you to look at the Writing Recommendation Letters e-book by Joe Schall, but here are some quick tips on making your recommendation letters more effective:

  • Detail how you know the student
  • Illustrate the qualities that you value in the student
  • Contribute original information and insight to the application
  • Offer some basis for comparison
  • Anecdotes are extremely valuable
  • Discuss a project or paper that the student handled well
  • Highlight a conversation, class discussion, or group contribution that impressed you

Since letters of recommendation are one of the most critical aspects of faculty support for applicants, here are some useful resources about writing letters for nationally competitive scholarships, including some information specific to particular awards:

Resources

  • Writing Recommendation Letters Online by Joe Schall: A truly comprehensive resource that addresses issues ranging from the ethical considerations faculty consider when writing letters to best practices for writing letters for students and what selectors prioritize in winning scholarship reference letters.

 

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