Texas Tech University

Red Raiders Celebrated at Prestigious Scholarship Reception

Amanda Castro-Crist

May 8, 2019

Texas Tech University

The annual ceremony recognizes the months of work by students, faculty and staff to secure awards that support educational and research endeavors.

Texas Tech University students, faculty and staff were recognized Monday (May 6) at the annual Prestigious Scholarship Reception, hosted by the Office of National and International Scholarships & Fellowships (NISF), the Graduate School and the Honors College.

The ceremony recognizes these individuals for the months of work that go into applying for highly competitive and prestigious educational awards and programs, including writing and revising essays and recommendation letters, serving on selection committees, and participating as interviewers and applicants in mock interview panels.

"Applying for prestigious awards is no easy feat," said Wendoli Flores, director of NISF. "Only the students who are willing to sacrifice a good deal of their time end up going through the process of a complete application. Many of these scholarships require university endorsement and must be applied for internally through the NISF office so a review committee has the opportunity to assess the candidates and endorse the most competitive students."

Flores said after receiving an endorsement, applicants obtain valuable feedback from the committee that can be applied to their final applications. Students participate in a lengthy internal and external application process that can include several meetings and in-person interviews with Texas Tech faculty and staff, as well as a review of applicant materials, before they apply to the actual scholarships. The entire process can be extremely time-consuming.

"Even if a student does not receive a scholarship, the mere act of applying is an impressive accomplishment that must be recognized and celebrated," Flores said. "In the long run, the process itself allows students to discover more about themselves and their goals and prepares them well to pursue other opportunities. Recognizing award recipients is also of importance, since it clearly communicates to our campus community that it is possible for Red Raiders to attain these prestigious awards. From here, it truly is possible."

Graduate School associate dean Tim Dallas worked closely with the NISF office to develop an application process that will result in higher numbers of awards for students applying to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Flores said partnerships like these are essential to the enhancement of the NISF mission. Dallas also oversees the applications for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

In addition to the Fulbright awards and the NSF GRFP, awards and programs featured in this year's ceremony included the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, Rhodes Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, Gates Cambridge Scholarship, Knight-Hennessy Scholarship and Truman Scholarship.

The award winners recognized at the ceremony this year were:

  • Nicholas Acosta, Fulbright Scholar
  • Shelby Young, Fulbright Scholar
  • Oscar Wu, Goldwater Scholar
  • Will Dodge, NSF GRFP Scholar
  • Evan A. Perkowski, NSF GRFP Scholar Honorable Mention

Several student applicants also were recognized at the ceremony:

  • Fulbright semi-finalist: Nancy Dinan
  • Fulbright applicants: David Robledo; Oscar Rosales, Jr.; Neel Roy; Jaclyn "Paige" Williams. Roy also was a Rhodes, Marshall and Gates Cambridge applicant.
  • Goldwater applicants: Aamrin Rafiq, Mathew Parker, William Little
  • Internal Goldwater applicants: Kate Ripley, Lars Lindgren, Taru Bharadwaj
  • Truman applicant: Sophia McGrath
  • Knight-Hennessy applicants: Andrew Davis, John Kabl Wilkerson, Reynaldo Torres Arellano, Yiwei Wang

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