This year, more than a dozen University of Texas at Austin students and alumni were recipients of some of the world’s most competitive scholarships and fellowships. These Longhorns represent a wide range of years, fields of study and emergent career paths, including a rising senior who received two scholarships in support of his work in cardiac tissue engineering and regenerative medicine as well as a recent graduate who will pursue graduate degrees in environmental policy and economics. Many competed against thousands of other applicants, and all were recognized for their intellectual curiosity, hard work and commitment to changing the world.
Applicants work with UT’s Office of Distinguished and Postgraduate Scholarships (ODPS), which mentors undergraduates and alumni interested in scholarship opportunities. ODPS is led by professor and director Douglas Bruster and assistant director Tina Thomas and works with volunteers from the campus and local communities.
“This was an incredible year for UT, with so many students accepted to some of the world’s most prestigious scholarship and fellowship programs,” Bruster said. “But we have found that every student who participates in the application process benefits greatly from their experience. It’s like a class they prepare for, with their fields and future versions of themselves as the subjects.”
Learn more about our recent recipients:
Recent graduate Isaac W. James was selected as one of 32 Americans in the 2023 class of Rhodes Scholars, one of the most prestigious graduate scholarships in the world. Awarded by the Rhodes Trust, the scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford. James, who graduated in 2022 with bachelor’s degrees in Plan II Honors and government with a minor in LGBTQ+ studies, plans to pursue master’s degree in education at Oxford, with a concentration in digital and social change.
Samara Zuckerbrod, a Liberal Arts Honors student who graduated this spring with bachelor’s degrees in sustainability studies and English, was awarded a 2023 Marshall Scholarship. Created by the Parliament of the United Kingdom and awarded annually, the prestigious two-year award funds 50 intellectually distinguished young Americans’ study toward a degree in the U.K. Zuckerbrod plans to complete a master’s degree in sustainability planning and environmental policy at Cardiff University and a masters’ degree in environmental economics and climate change through the London School of Economics.
Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute Fellowship Program
Rising College of Liberal Arts senior Katherine Ospina, who is studying international relations and global studies/sociology/race, as well as indigeneity and migration, was selected to participate in the Public Policy and International Affairs Program’s Junior Summer Institute Program. This rigorous, fully funded academic fellowship provides student training and financial support for graduate school and facilitates ongoing professional development for undergraduate students in their junior year of college.
Aditi Merchant and Hannah Lee, who both graduated from the Cockrell School of Engineering this spring, are two of only 85 scholars from around the world to be selected this year for one of the most prestigious student awards in higher education. The Knight-Hennessy Scholarship funds graduate studies at Stanford University and provides leadership training, workshops, projects and travel opportunities for its recipients. More than 7,000 candidates competed globally. Merchant will pursue a Ph.D. in bioengineering with an interest in improving the quality of life for older adults through both a scientific and social lens. Lee will pursue a Ph.D. in electrical engineering.
Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans
Alumnus Arjun Menta was selected from more than 2,000 applicants to be one of 30 recipients of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Founded in 1997 by Hungarian immigrants Paul and Daisy Soros, this merit-based program honors the contributions of continuing generations of immigrants in the United States. Soros Fellows receive $90,000 toward their graduate studies. Menta, who graduated with degrees in bioengineering and business honors in 2021, is pursuing an M.D. at John Hopkins University School of Medicine and aspires to be a physician-innovator.
Boren Scholarships and Fellowships
Five undergraduate students and two graduate students from UT received Boren Awards for International Study in 2023. Founded by Sen. David L. Boren as part of the National Security Education Program, Boren Scholarships and Fellowships fund the intensive study of language and culture abroad in regions critical to U.S. interests.
The following undergraduate students received Boren Scholarships:
- Arleana Mweyloa, majoring in international relations and global studies
- Danielle Buffa, majoring in political science
- Alexandra Fowler, majoring in international relations and global studies, and eonomics
- Samuel Mills, majoring in international relations and global studies, and Asian studies
- Sabrina Mori, majoring in humanities and Portuguese
The following graduate students received Boren Fellowships:
- Farrah Burrell, pursuing an M.S. in international affairs
- Eoin Power, pursuing a Ph.D. in political science
Kevin Wen, a physics major in the College of Natural Sciences, and Maanas Gupta, a biomedical engineering major in the Cockrell School of Engineering, were selected for the 2023 Goldwater Scholarships, which are awarded by the federally endowed Goldwater Foundation in partnership with the Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs. Established in 1986 as a scholarship program honoring Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Goldwater Scholarship covers the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 per full academic year for undergraduate students who conduct research in the natural sciences, mathematics or engineering. Wen is interested in condensed matter physics and plans to pursue a Ph.D. Gupta has been fascinated by stem cell research since high school and plans to obtain an M.D./Ph.D. to pursue work as a physician-scientist.
Rising senior and Goldwater Scholar Maanas Gupta also was a 2023 recipient of the Astronaut Scholarship. This national award celebrates outstanding undergraduate students studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). Astronaut Scholars are among the best and brightest minds in STEM and are known for showing initiative, creativity and excellence in their chosen field. Gupta will receive a scholarship up to $15,000, the opportunity to represent UT at ASF’s Scholar Technical Conference, mentorship from a scholar alumnus, C-suite executive or astronaut, and membership in the Astronaut Scholar Honor Society.
Class of 2023 graduate Bennett Burke was selected as a Yenching Scholar by Peking University. This fellowship aims to build bridges between China and the rest of the world through a one- or two-year interdisciplinary master’s program in China studies. Burke, who graduated from UT with a bachelor’s degree in history and communications, will receive a postgraduate scholarship that covers tuition fees, a travel stipend for one round-trip journey to Beijing, and accommodations and living costs on Peking University’s campus.
To learn more about these and other scholarship and fellowship opportunities, connect with the Office of Distinguished and Postgraduate Scholarships at email@example.com.