Fordham’s strength in science and mathematics has been recognized by one of the world’s most prestigious fellowship programs.
The Winston Churchill Foundation, which grants up to 15 scholarships each year to American students for one year of graduate study at Cambridge, recently designated Fordham as a nominating institution.
That means that Fordham is one of only 102 universities that can endorse students for the Churchill Scholarship.
The benefits to the University are twofold, according to John Ryle Kezel, Ph.D., director of the St. Edmund Campion Institute for Prestigious Fellowships. Not only does it open more scholarship opportunities for students, it demonstrates Fordham’s excellence in research and instruction.
“Fordham’s acceptance as a nominating institution is a testament to the University’s growing reputation and the outstanding contributions of our students in the scientific and mathematical fields,” Kezel said. “We have students working in cutting-edge disciplines, such as bionanotechnology, which fit in very well with current scholarship programs at Cambridge.”
Fordham undergraduates in the sciences regularly collaborate with faculty on research. In many instances, students conduct their own investigations and present results at regional and national academic conferences alongside their faculty mentors.
“I credit the students, but I also credit the faculty for giving them the focused attention they need to do the best research possible,” said Donna Heald, Ph.D., associate dean for science education.
“Our students are receiving awards at academic conferences where their competition may be graduate students, post-docs and faculty from other institutions,” she said. “It’s very uncommon.”
Fordham’s acceptance into the family of Churchill institutions also stems from the University’s increased success on the prestigious awards circuit.
“We’re being noticed more and more because our students are being accepted into other prominent UK programs, including the Gates-Cambridge, as well as for study and research at Oxford,” said Maria Noonan, assistant director of the Campion Institute. “Being part of the Churchill program offers even greater opportunities for our students to be recognized.”
The Churchill Scholarship was established in 1959 by American friends of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, to honor his request that American students study at the newly created Churchill College at Cambridge.
Ideally, Churchill candidates will be identified early in their Fordham careers and then cultivated through a combined effort by the student, faculty and Campion Institute.
– Joseph McLaughlin