LAS CRUCES - Applying for national and international fellowships and scholarships can be an intimidating experience. Just ask Iliana Viscarra, a recent New Mexico State University graduate.
“I would say it was absolutely intimidating,” said Viscarra, NMSU’s first-ever finalist for the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program and one of only 90 finalists throughout the United States. “Most fellowships are inherently complicated.”
Because of the support Viscarra received from NMSU’s Fellowships Office, formerly known as the Office of National Scholarships and International Education, she was able to navigate the application process more efficiently.
“It was very scheduled and very helpful in making all of the chaos less so,” said Viscarra, who will continue her education at NMSU as a graduate student in the government department in the spring. She will be studying for a master’s degree in government focusing on international relations and foreign policy.
The NMSU Fellowships Office is housed in the William Conroy Honors College and serves all NMSU and Doña Ana Community College students interested in unique merit-based funding opportunities. The office’s director, Andrea Orzoff, an NMSU associate professor of history and Honors College faculty member, has a long history of supporting students applying for these awards.
“Fellowships are competitive opportunities to win funded awards that help you learn new languages, pursue professional or graduate training, teach and work abroad, and more,” Orzoff said. “Applying for fellowships can help students become better applicants for graduate programs and jobs.”
The office provides guidance and support to undergraduate and graduate students seeking nominations to highly competitive national and international scholarship and fellowship programs. These programs include Fulbright and Boren scholarships.
“NMSU students often don’t know about these opportunities, and don’t realize how well-qualified they are to apply for them,” Orzoff said. “There are fellowships for all students, from first-years to graduate students, and for every major. There are amazing tools students can use to better understand themselves, learn more about the world, and realize just how good they are.”
Orzoff is no stranger to national and international fellowships at the faculty level. She will hold a residential fellowship at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna, Austria, during the spring 2023 semester. She has won many of the most prestigious awards in her field, including a Botstiber Foundation Fellowship, several Fulbright Scholar Awards, and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and the Center for Advanced Study at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. She also serves as the U.S. Fulbright Program’s faculty liaison at NMSU.
“I’m glad to be able to share what I have learned with our students, and I’m so excited to see where they will land and the good they will do in the world,” Orzoff said.
The office is hosting several online information sessions and orientations to introduce students to several fellowship and scholarship opportunities. To learn more, contact Orzoff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adriana M. Chávez writes for New Mexico State University Marketing and Communications and can be reached at 575-646-1957 or by email at email@example.com.
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This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: NMSU Fellowships Office helps students apply for career opportunities