Dean of Academic Life


“Preparing applications for prestigious awards is just as rewarding as succeeding in achieving one.  It provides an opportunity for self-reflection, as well as, to learn how to best represent you.  I have been very fortunate to receive the Goldwater scholarship, Udall Honorable Mention, President’s Award, and the Dean’s Summer Research Grant.  Each prestigious award provides great opportunities to pursue and develop your passions, as I did through the Dean’s Summer Research Grant, as well as, a step-up for future applications, such as for graduate school.  Considering the advantages of just going through the process of writing such an application, doing so can only benefit you.”

Amanda Meier ’13, Goldwater, Udall (honorable mention), President’s Award, Summer Research Grant


“I would strongly encourage passionate students to take advantage of the wonderful resources Muhlenberg offers to prepare interested students to successfully compete for prestigious awards.  Applying for the President’s Award has been a rewarding experience that has caused me to seriously reflect upon my ambitions and dreams for the future.  I strongly believe that, win or lose, the process of crafting and revising (and revising again) a personal statement will reinforce for you your life’s aspirations—what you hope to achieve when you step out into the world.”

Michelle Bielko ’09, President’s Award, Summer Research Grant


“The Prestigious Awards Initiative is an unparalleled opportunity that Muhlenberg places in the palm of our hands, providing the guidance and support to make a daunting process extremely feasible…Any of these awards has the potential to open doors for graduating Muhlenberg students and jump-start a future of promise in the form of graduate study, research, cultural exploration in another country, and in all cases, prestige.  It is a process that every qualified student should explore; if nothing else becomes of the experience it is a wonderful identity-searching and confidence-building tool, both invaluable preparation for future intellectual development.”

Ashley Rider ’09, Gilman, President’s Award


“Applying for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship was a trying process, no doubt about it--but worth every single moment. Applying for the Fulbright--and the entire Prestigious Awards process--helped me to get a better sense of who I am, what I want in life, and how to go about achieving my goals. During the application process, I spent a lot of time mulling over my previous experiences and how they all connected to help me form myself into a candidate worthy of an assistantship. Initially, I was discouraged about my chances, but with the encouragement and coaching of Muhlenberg faculty, I kept up with the application and eventually received the grant. Now, as I apply for graduate schools in Ethnomusicology and prepare for my assistantship in Indonesia, I have a much better idea of how to write a statement of purpose, prepare for an interview, and choose the best course of action for my life post-Muhlenberg. Whether you receive an award or not, the Prestigious Awards process is one absolutely worth undertaking--you will not regret it.” 

Gillian Irwin ’13, Fulbright, Summer Research Grant


“So many times, deeply engaged students seem to overlook the opportunities presented by the Prestigious Awards Initiative here at Muhlenberg. I know from experience that the paperwork can be daunting, but that it is worth every second. First, I believe that compiling an application is useful practice for those planning to attend graduate or professional school, as well as students who are seeking employment after college. Moreover, many of the opportunities afforded by the Prestigious Awards Initiative are the type of once in a lifetime experiences whose benefits far outweigh the sometimes tedious associated paperwork. … After all, these types of awards can only add to your already growing list of college achievements.”

Martin Lo Sasso ’15, St. Andrew’s


“I was so discouraged at times.  I had school work that demanded my attention.  And I questioned why on earth I was doing this.  The chances were so few . . . I spent fall break in the library working on a policy statement for the Truman . . . It may be hard, but it was worth it.  Being at the Truman workshop in Independence, Missouri, I was surrounded by like-minded people who want to transform the world.  It was so exciting.  And the Truman people treated us so well.  Now, I’m so happy I did follow through.”

Kate Bartkus ’00, Truman, Summer Research Grant


“I can’t tell you enough how important it is to really start thinking about what you are going to do after college early....When I went to apply for graduate school, the essays were so much easier to write because I had written them really through Jack Kent Cooke ….It’s just such a great process …. You get a better sense of what you want to do and how to convey that to others …. Embrace this process.”

Alycia Infante ’04, President’s Award, Jack Kent Cooke


“Without [my awards advisor’s] guidance, I do not believe I would have been prepared for the grueling process of the actual graduate admissions applications.  I used the template of the Javits application to complete my school applications and was admitted to what became my top choice school, Temple University, with a Future faculty Fellowship which includes full tuition scholarship, health insurance and a living stipend.  I could not be happier!”

Roberta Meek ’06, Temple University, (History Ph.D.)


“You miss a hundred percent of the shots you didn’t take.”

              Wayne Gretsky, philosopher and athlete