Mortar Board National Foundation fellowship awards

Since the inception of Mortar Board’s fellowship program in 1941, more than half a million dollars has been given to deserving members of Mortar Board pursuing postgraduate degrees.

The program started with two awards of $500 and has grown to several awards of between $3,000 and $5,000 each. A member of any age may apply for a Mortar Board Fellowship for postbaccalaureate study in any field.

The Mortar Board Fellowship Selection Committee endeavors to provide for a streamlined, yet thought-provoking application process that allows each applicant to showcase her/his accomplishments and plans. The Ideals of Mortar Board are considered: robust scholarship that is competitive nationwide, meaningful leadership, and dedication to service to one’s alma mater.

These fellowships are awarded annually.  Applications for the upcoming awards must be submitted on or before March 1.

How to apply

The fellowship selection process is managed by the Mortar Board Fellowship Selection Committee, which reviews all completed applications in a two-phase reading process.

A completed application for a Mortar Board National Foundation fellowship consists of three parts:

  1. An online application, completed in full;
  2. A current, official transcript from every institution of higher education that you have attended, must be received on or before March 1:

    Mortar Board National Office
    1200 Chambers Road, Suite 201
    Columbus, OH 43212

  3. Two recommendations as described below.

The annual deadline for receipt of the completed application is March 1. An incomplete application will receive no consideration.

Recommendation explanation

The two letters of recommendation must be from faculty or other persons who can speak with authority about your ability to do graduate work in your chosen field and about your personal qualities and achievement. It would be helpful if one of your recommenders could speak to your out-of-classroom experiences related to your degree objective and also your leadership and service on the campus and in the community.

Recommendations should be completed online by the application deadline.

Selecting fellowship recipients

Candidates will be judged on their academic record, recommendations, goals and objectives, and contribution/commitment to Mortar Board. The acceptance of the fellowship involves an obligation to begin and complete the year of study described in the application. (Note: applicants must be current or former collegiate members of Mortar Board. Past recipients of the fellowship are ineligible to apply again. All awards are for one academic year only).  

Applications must be received on or before March 1. The results of the selection process will be sent to all applicants on or before May 1. The monetary award is sent directly to the fellow.   

2014-2015 Fellows

Marissa Alfano is the recipient of a Mortar Board Fellowship in honor of Diane Selby and a 2014 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University with baccalaureate degrees in journalism and politics and government. Alfano served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and earned several news writing awards. She also participated in a 10-day travel learning course in London. Alfano is enrolled at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law to pursue a Juris Doctorate, specializing in public policy.

Meghan Borz earned her baccalaureate degree in mechanical engineering in 2014 from Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., where she served as president of the Gamma Tau Sigma chapter of Mortar Board. A passionate long-distance runner, she captained Rowan’s varsity cross-country and track and field teams. Borz is currently studying for her master’s degree in mechanical engineering at The Pennsylvania State University as the Ramier-Coleman Fellow.

Ryan Cross earned his baccalaureate degrees in 2014 at Purdue University in neurobiology and physiology, and also in genetics. In addition to serving as a teaching assistant, Cross held numerous leadership roles in co-curricular activities, including serving as president of several major student organizations. As the Zelma Patchin-Oklahoma State/Washington State Fellow, Cross will continue at Purdue University to earn his doctoral degree in medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology.

Margaret Cupit earned her baccalaureate degree in chemistry in 2014 at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn. She gained research experience in several scientific laboratories, clinical research projects and scientific writing endeavors. She also devoted countless volunteer hours to local children’s hospitals, in addition to serving as president of the Torch chapter of Mortar Board. Cupit is now working toward her M.D. at the Mayo Medical School as the winner of the Barbara Cook Fellowship.

Katherine Genzink earned her undergraduate degree in biology in 2013 from Hope College in Holland, Mich., where she served as president of the award-winning Alcor chapter of Mortar Board. An accomplished violinist, she also participated in the Hope College Orchestra and Symphonette. Several research opportunities and community work, shaped her future aspirations. A Mortar Board Fellow, Genzik is currently in her second year of medical school at the University of Michigan.

Emily Issler is a 2014 graduate of San Diego State University with a major in psychology and a minor in Spanish. Issler participated in a semester-long Spanish immersion program in Madrid. She also traveled to Ghana to teach math and English. In addition, Issler co-authored a scholarly research paper that was presented at two undergraduate research conferences. Named the Ruth Weimer Mount Fellow, Issler is working toward a Master of Social Work at San Diego State University.

Nicole Perry earned dual degrees in biology and chemistry in 2014 at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Perry studied marine biology in The Bahamas and microbial ecology at the University of Tennessee. Perry also served as president of the Arrow & Mask chapter of Mortar Board, principal chair violist in the Wittenberg Chamber Orchestra and community advisor. Perry is pursuing a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., as a Mortar Board Fellow.

Taylor Sutcliffe is a 2013 graduate from the University of Denver, with degrees in both biology and psychology. Sutcliffe conducted a three-year research project to better understand the pathologies and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, culminating in an award-winning senior thesis and lead authorship on a publication currently in press. This year's Ellen North Dunlap Fellow, Sutcliffe is pursuing an M.D. at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, specializing in neurological surgery.








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