Fellowships Office Ambassadors

MU Fellowships Office Ambassadors are students who have interacted closely with the Fellowships Office and promote the office to MU students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Ambassadors speak at outreach presentations, meet with current applicants to provide application feedback, assist with mock interviews, and more. These students contribute great enthusiasm and energy to the fellowships team!

Lane Burdette

Year: Junior

Majors: Psychology & International Studies (Biology Minor)

Lane Burdette started as a Fellowships Office student ambassador in fall 2018. A junior at the University of Missouri, she is pursuing a BS in Psychology & BA in International Studies with plans to graduate in 2020. During her time at MU, Lane has worked in the Office of Student Engagement, Residential Life, Ellis Library, and the MU Alcohol Cognitions Laboratory. She also volunteers locally with City of Refuge and the Missouri Crisis Line. Lane was selected as a 2018 Boren Scholarship African Flagship Language Initiative Alternate and is currently studying abroad in Valparaíso, Chile.

What fellowship (or fellowships) have you applied for and when did you apply?

I applied for the Critical Language Scholarship and Boren Scholarship in the 2018-2019 academic year.

What would you tell students who are learning about fellowships for the first time and considering if they will apply? Why would you encourage them to apply?

Fellowships open the door to new opportunities and experiences — with a little work, they can take you anywhere in the world.

Michael Dotzel

Year: Senior

Majors: Mathematics & Physics (Music Minor)

Michael has participated in two mathematics focused National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REUs), is president of the math and physics clubs on campus, and currently does research in the math department with Dr. Carlo Morpurgo. A member of the Mizzou Student Foundation, Michael also acts as a Research Ambassador. He plans to attend graduate school and hopes to become a research professor.

What fellowship (or fellowships) have you applied for and when did you apply?

I applied for the Goldwater Scholarship in fall 2017.

What would you tell students who are learning about fellowships for the first time and considering if they will apply? Why would you encourage them to apply?

Fellowships are a good way of evaluating your progress as you put your achievements to paper. I.e., in expounding upon the activities you have chosen to involve yourself in, you will have an idea of which contribute meaningfully to your university experience and how they do so. Be as open to feedback from peers and the Fellowships Office as you can. In your application process a picture of yourself will emerge – your openness determines how defined this image will be.

Luke Guerdan

Year: Senior

Majors: Computer Science & Psychology (Math Minor)

Luke Guerdan is a Senior Computer Science and Psychology student interested in building machines that understand human behavior. He has spent the past 3 years working under Yi Shang and Tim Trull building data collection systems and conducting research in machine learning, and will be applying to graduate programs to continue this research. Luke is also active in the local computing community, where he served as the President of the Mizzou Computing Association, was the Assistant Director of the TigerHacks student hackathon, and volunteers at local schools to teach kids coding. Outside of Mizzou, Luke’s interests in other cultures took him to Alicante, Spain for a semester study abroad program and Berlin, Germany for a summer research position. He is fluent in many programming languages and conversational in Spanish.

What fellowship (or fellowships) have you applied for and when did you apply?

I applied for the DAAD R.I.S.E program in Fall 2017, and the Goldwater Scholarship in Spring 2018.

What would you tell students who are learning about fellowships for the first time and considering if they will apply? Why would you encourage them to apply?

I would tell potential applicants that fellowships are not mainly about winning–they are about the process of refinement and improvement before and during the application process. Fellowships give a concrete, short term goal to work towards during college and encourage you to dream big, while the process of actually applying helps refine your purpose as a student and a person as a whole. Win or loose, fellowships help weave a coherent story through your college experience and encourage trying your best each day.

Savanahh Modesitt

Year: Junior

Majors: International Studies & Russian (Anthropology Minor)

Beginning in Fall 2018, Savannah will study Russian in Almaty, Kazakhstan, for nine months through a Boren Scholarship. In Summer 2018 Savannah studied in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Honors College for two weeks, participating in research forums, hiking 63 miles, and honoring the victims of the Srebrenica genocide and Bosnian War. She describes these opportunities as invaluable experiences in a career of peace and conflict resolution. With her Russian language skills, she aspires toward a career in conflict management in post-Soviet conflict areas. Clubs on campus like AIESEC, Amnesty International, and CELL and organizations like the Columbia Refugee and Immigration Services have made her a more active member in all the communities she serves — local, state, national, and international. It is here where she continues to find ways to overcome cultural barriers as a means to finding solutions.

What fellowship (or fellowships) have you applied for and when did you apply?

I applied for a Critical Language Scholarship in November 2017 and a Boren Scholarship in February 2018.

What would you tell students who are learning about fellowships for the first time and considering if they will apply? Why would you encourage them to apply?

Apply to fellowships if you want experience in competing for what you want. What you want in your career will not come easy. It is through determination and ambition that you will strengthen your prospects in jobs by making yourself a better applicant. You will not always be a recipient of the fellowships you apply for. Most are highly competitive. But the most successful among us, past and present, have always said that no success ever came without many failures. It is the failures that make us successful. Apply and apply and apply for fellowships because the experience will you help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and how to become a better applicant next time round. If you have never applied before, apply now because fellowships are a competitive edge in the job market. Fellowships give you funded opportunities to explore your career.

Claire Roth

Year: Junior

Majors: Data Journalism & International Studies

Clare Roth is a junior data journalism and international studies dual major. She studied abroad in Vienna, Austria for her junior year of high school and knows German. She received the Critical Language Scholarship to study Turkish in Baku, Azerbaijan the summer after her sophomore year. She is interested in the intersection between data and international journalism, Turkish immigration to Germany and EU-Turkey/Turkey-U.S. relations. In the future, she hopes to work as a journalist covering foreign policy and national security. Between studying, reporting for the Missourian and trying to figure out foreign grammar conjugations, Clare works as an RA in Hatch Hall.

What fellowship (or fellowships) have you applied for and when did you apply?

I applied for the Critical Language Scholarship in Fall 2017 and the Boren Scholarship in winter of 2018.

What would you tell students who are learning about fellowships for the first time and considering if they will apply? Why would you encourage them to apply?

Fellowship applications aren’t the Common App. If you have a marked intellectual curiosity in what you’re applying for and are willing to work hard, you can apply for a fellowship, regardless of where you’re from, how much money your parents make, or whatever your grade in freshman year Econ was. I come from a small, pop. 2000 farm town in the middle of Missouri. I didn’t have AP classes and I’ve never had a 4.0 GPA. Although I knew my chances of getting a fellowship were statistically improbable, I also knew that my chances were zero if I didn’t apply.

Evan Teters

Year: Senior

Majors: Computer Science (Math Minor)

Evan participates regularly in Mizzou Computing Association (MCA), leading the iOS development interest group. He does research in the engineering school under Dr. Palanniappan, working with computer vision-related things. His goal is to become proficient in one area of computer science and develop his business skills to start or join a start-up.

What fellowship (or fellowships) have you applied for and when did you apply?

I applied for the Goldwater Scholarship in Spring 2018.

What would you tell students who are learning about fellowships for the first time and considering if they will apply? Why would you encourage them to apply?

Just know that your accomplishments mean more than you think they do. Work at those essays for a bit every day or two (and get as much feedback as you can), and it will definitely pay off. It is very worth the effort.

Lydia Wilson

Year: Senior

Majors: Public Health (Leadership & Public Service and Human Development and Family Studies Minors)

Lydia is a member of Mizzou’s Public Health Club, a 2016 Deaton Scholar Graduate and has led a weekend trip for Mizzou Alternative Breaks. Lydia participated in a Public Health Brigade to Honduras with Mizzou Global Brigades her freshman year. In the summer of 2017, with the service learning department at Mizzou, Lydia taught English at temple schools and universities in Thailand for a month. She is currently on a Boren Scholarship and is part of the Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI) where she is intensively studying bahasa Indonesia (the language of Indonesia). I will be in Indonesia for the fall semester 2018 and will return to Mizzou in the spring semester of 2019. I aim to obtain my Master’s degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Global Health Epidemiology. I hope to eventually work for a governmental organization such as the CDC, studying communicable diseases in developing countries.

What fellowship (or fellowships) have you applied for and when did you apply?

I applied for a Boren Scholarship in 2018.

What would you tell students who are learning about fellowships for the first time and considering if they will apply? Why would you encourage them to apply?

Applying for fellowships can seem like a daunting task; however, it is very worth it. Regardless of if you are awarded the fellowship or not, applying for fellowships is an enlightening experience where you have the opportunity to critically think about your future and the many options that lay ahead of you. Oftentimes it motivates you to pursue other things you may have not considered before. Here at Mizzou, you also have great resources on campus, such as the fellowships office, who are eager to provide you with support and guidance on any fellowships or other opportunities you may be considering. I highly recommend taking advantage of the resources you have at Mizzou and utilizing them for your future ambitions.