Competitive Fellowships & Awards

The university encourages and supports academically-strong students seeking to advance their educational and career goals through highly competitive fellowships and awards available nationally and globally.

Competitive fellowships and awards and fellowships are available to support undergraduate or graduate study in the United States or abroad for research or public service. Learn more about the prestigious awards by attending an upcoming information session. Sessions are held each fall and spring term and are open to all Towson University students and alumni, regardless of major, year or enrollment in the Honors College.

The process of applying for competitive fellowship or award is in itself valuable. Applicants learn how to present themselves more effectively; gain experience interviewing and articulating their ideas and vision; challenge themselves to excel; and grow — personally and professionally.

Successful Applications

Successful applications typically include:

  • a personal statement that is clear, succinct, and focused
  • a distinguished academic resume
  • strong letters of recommendation from faculty
  • a well-planned proposal for future research

Students interested in applying for a competitive fellowships and awards are encouraged to contact the Director of Competitive Fellowships and Awards, Dr. Mary Sajini Devadas, at .


Winner of the 2021 Fulbright Award

Gaia Gonzales

TU alumna Gaia Gonzales is a winner of a Fulbright ETA grant for South Korea. Gaia graduated in spring 2016 with a major in Elementary Education and currently works as an elementary school teacher in Baltimore County. She worked closely with her TU Fulbright campus advisor, Dr. Clare Muhoro, to submit a competitive application. Gaia applied to the fellowship in order to gain pedagogical and cultural experiences to expand both her US and Korean students’ world views. Gaia’s background in education, experience co-directing her school’s annual plays, and her firm sense of her own bicultural heritage will serve her well as a Fulbright ETA.


Aris Hines

TU alumnus Aris Hines is a semi-finalist for the Open Study/Research award in the Philippines. Aris graduated magna cum laude in spring 2019 with a Theater Arts major and double minor in Electronic Media & Film and Women’s and Gender Studies. Aris went on to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and was recalled last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His project titled Theater for Youth: Empowering the Next Generation would allow him to return to the Philippines to engage Filipino youth in community cultural development as Filipino society reemerges from the impact of the pandemic. Aris worked closely with Dr. Tavia La Follette throughout the application process for this prestigious grant.

Garrett Leatherman

Senior Garrett Leatherman is a semi-finalist for the ETA to Italy. Garrett expects to graduate this spring with a Foreign Language major in Spanish and double minor in Italian and Philosophy. During Garrett’s undergraduate career, he has studied in Dublin and Madrid and obtained a TESOL certification. He worked closely with his TU Fulbright campus advisor, Ms. Katie Villamar, to submit a competitive application. Garrett has a love for languages and wishes to become a college professor. As a budding polyglot, he has mastered the Spanish language and achieved advanced proficiency in Italian. Garrett’s previous work as a writing fellow and language tutor  have prepared him to serve as an ETA in Italy.

Featured Awardees

Nicole Hondrogiannis

Nicole Hondrogiannis ’21

Nicole Hondrogiannis ’21 wins Goldwater Scholarship for her research on developing minimally-invasive chemotherapy treatments

Goldwater Scholarship
Marella Schammel

Marella Schammel ’20

Marella Schammel ’20 earned a Barry Goldwater Scholarship for her chemistry research on water disinfectants.

Goldwater Scholarship


Dr. Mary Sajini Devdas

Director of Competitive Fellowships and Awards 

Dr. Mary Sajini Devadas is the director of competitive fellowships and awards in the Office of the Provost. She coordinates TU’s efforts to support and promote students in obtaining nationally competitive scholarships and awards such as the Fulbright, Rhodes, Truman, Gilman and Goldwater fellowships.

Dr. Devadas works across colleges with faculty and staff to identify competitive awards for TU students; recruit eligible students to apply for awards; and provide support during the application and submission processes.

Dr. Devadas grew up in India where she earned a BS, MS and Master of Philosophy in Chemistry, all from Bharathiar University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Western Michigan University with a specialization in nanoscience. Dr. Devadas then held an appointment as a postdoctoral research associate for 3 years at the University of Notre Dame with specialization in single particle linear and nonlinear optical spectroscopy. Since joining TU in fall of 2015 she has mentored 49 undergraduate and 13 masters' students in interdisciplinary nanoscience research. Her students and she have obtained ~$1.56 M (~125 K from student research awards) in grant funding. Her research students have also won National Awards such as the Goldwater Scholarship and the American Chemical Society’s Division of Inorganic Chemistry’s Research Award.

Jennifer Figg

Assistant Director of Competitive Fellowship and Awards 

Dr. Jennifer Figg is the assistant director of competitive fellowships and awards in the Office of the Provost. Dr. Figg holds a BFA in Textiles from the Rhode Island School of Design, an MFA from the University of California, and a Ph.D. in Media, Art and Text from the Virginia Commonwealth University. Her areas of interest include site specific public installation, sculpture, digital imaging, and visual culture. Her collaborative research investigates energy and climate change; historical methods of making, including hot and warm glass processes; and developing technologies, including data collection and analysis, 3D CNC technology for fabrication, and embedded programming. Dr. Figg’s work is in permanent acquisitions and site-specific installations nationally, including the University of Rhode Island, Rutgers University, and Utah Valley University. She has mentored students who pursued successful internal undergraduate research grants and others who have gone to pursue their MFA and Ph.D. work in the arts.

Select Competitive Fellowships and Awards

Boren Awards

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships provide up to $24,000 to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad. Although this program has a language component, it is open to all majors.


Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program

The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program is a six-week summer program designed to provide undergraduate students with a deeper appreciation of current issues and trends in international affairs, a greater understanding of career opportunities in international affairs, and the enhanced knowledge and skills to pursue such careers.

Critical Language Scholarship

Critical Language Scholarship is an overseas language immersion program supporting the study and master one of fifteen designated critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu. Some languages require no prior experience.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is a prestigious grant program awarded to graduating seniors and graduate students to supports study/research projects or English teaching projects for students to conduct outside of the U.S.

Gates Cambrige Scholarship

The Gates Cambridge scholarship provides non-UK nationals the opportunity to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. Students are selected based on their outstanding intellectual ability, reasons for choice of course, a commitment to improving the lives of others and leadership potential

Gilman Scholarships

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness.

Goldwater Scholarship

By providing Goldwater Scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering, the Goldwater Foundation is helping ensure that the U.S. is producing the number of highly-qualified professionals the Nation needs in these critical fields.

Governor’s Summer Internship Program

The Governor’s Summer Internship Program introduces Maryland’s best and brightest college students to the challenges and rewards of working within state government through policy-based summer internships in the Maryland state government.

James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program

Each year, through the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace offers approximately 11-13 one-year fellowships to uniquely qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year. They are selected from a pool of nominees nominated by several hundred participating universities and colleges. James C. Gaither Junior Fellows work as research assistants to Carnegie’s senior scholars.

Marshall Scholarship

Marshall Scholarship finances young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom through a scholarship to pursue a postgraduate degree at any UK institution in any field of study.

Obama Voyager Scholarship

The Voyager Scholarship was created by the Obamas and Brian Chesky, Airbnb Co-founder and CEO, to help shape future leaders to create meaningful change. This scholarship gives college students financial aid to alleviate the burden of college debt, meaningful travel experiences to expand their horizons, and a network of mentors and leaders to support them.

Quad Scholarship

The Quad Fellowship is an initiative of the governments of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. Announced by the Quad partners on September 24, 2021, this first-of-its-kind scholarship program is designed to build ties among the next generation of scientists and technologists. This program sponsors 100    exceptional American, Japanese, Australian, and Indian master's and doctoral students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to study in the United States.

Rhodes Scholarship

Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world. Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead. Rhodes scholars receive a scholarship to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Samvid Scholarship

The Samvid Scholars program was established in 2021 by Samvid Ventures to invest in the graduate education of future leaders who are committed to effecting positive change in society. The scholarship funds graduate education for future leaders and changemakers

Truman Scholarship

The Truman Scholarship is premier graduate fellowship in the United States for those pursuing careers as public service leaders, identifies young people at an important inflection point in their development — when they are college juniors — and recognizes and rewards their commitments to devote themselves to public service.

Additional Fellowships and Awards