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Over 80 Stony Brook Students ‘Hit Submit’ on Fellowship Applications

Hit submit 2024

Hit submit 2024

Undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs at Stony Brook University continue to showcase their work on a global scale. Although final award announcements will come through later this spring, with more than 85 applicants for the 2024-2025 cycle, there is no sign of slowing down.

In December, the Graduate School’s External Fellowships unit held an “I Hit Submit!” celebration for those who had submitted their fellowship applications. The event featured a few student speakers who spoke about their fellowship experiences at the undergraduate and graduate level.  

Sarah Gunasekera, the undergraduate student speaker, was awarded the Goldwater Scholarship for 2023. Gunasekera is a double major in applied mathematics and statistics and biology, and her research under Carlos Simmerling, Marsha Laufer Professor of Physical and Quantitative Biology, focuses on RNA simulation. For graduate student representation, Hayley Briggles, a PhD candidate from the Department of Music, talked about her experience with the AAUW American Dissertation Fellowship. Both speakers shared words of wisdom for the applicants as they wait to hear back if they are accepted. Their stories served as a source of inspiration for those aspiring to accomplish similar goals.

Hit submit 24 2Applicants have begun to receive messages from several awarding bodies, including Fulbright and the Critical Language Scholarship, about moving forward in the award process. Currently, 15 applicants have been notified of their semi-finalist status and should hear by April if they receive an award to go overseas. Other programs do not give such interim statuses, which means applicants must wait patiently for the final decisions.

For those who have supported applicants by writing recommendation letters or reviewing essays, this period when they are waiting to learn of their application status is a great opportunity to share encouragement and check in on how the process is going. The faculty and staff across campus who have supported these applications and understand the importance of even applying for a fellowship experience can be so encouraging for students at this time.

Ashley Staples, director for external fellowships, said, “For many Stony Brook applicants, even seeing themselves as a potential fellowship winner cues a lot of imposter syndrome, so having a supportive mentor check in at any stage of the process can make a huge difference.”

By the end of spring semester, most applicants will know if they have secured a fellowship that aligns with their academic and career goals. The Graduate School is looking forward to celebrating their accomplishments at the Wall of Honor ceremony, which will be held on May 2.

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