Did you know that each year the Department of History awards over $175,000 in fellowships and paper prizes to undergraduates? Applications for 2019-20 are due by March 27, 2019. All history majors, regardless of citizenship status, are encouraged to apply. Most applications require an unofficial transcript, statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation from faculty.
According to Tracy Maschman Morrissey, director of academic services for the Department of History, these awards can make a real difference in students’ academic lives. “The biggest impact I’ve seen is that students with fellowships can focus fully on course work. And, the fact that they might not have to take that part-time job, or have to work as many hours at it, also means they have more time for research and potentially internships too. Which is great!”
Many of these awards are made possible by donors to the Department of History. Their support has proved instrumental in helping students excel at their studies and thrive at the UW.
One example is the Freedman Remak Family Scholarship Fund in History. This scholarship was established by Nancy Freedman Remak and Ben Remak to help out-of-state students cover nonresident tuition costs.
Paula Araque was last year’s recipient. Araque, originally from Colombia, moved to Seattle from Los Angeles to attend the UW in 2016. She chose to attend a college out of state because she wanted to explore a new place and venture out of her comfort zone. She explains, “I wanted my college experience to include the opportunity to see different places and interact with different people, which I thought was something I wouldn’t really get to do if I stayed in California. The beauty of the UW campus also helped!”
Araque’s area of focus is the history of Latin America and the role of the United States in this part of the world during the 20th century. She is especially interested in exploring why Latin American history is so rarely taught in American classrooms and the effects that this lack of representation may have on individuals and communities from this ethnic group.
The Freedman Remak scholarship has been fundamental in helping her to tackle and explore these questions, and to offset pricey loans to cover nonresident tuition. Araque says,
[The scholarship] has really encouraged me to keep going. Coming into such a big and high-achieving school can be really overwhelming. . . . In earning this scholarship, it was encouraging to see that my hard work was being recognized by someone else, which has made me think that perhaps I do have something worthwhile to say. It also gave me the opportunity to free up some money to study abroad in France this past summer. This was one of the best experiences of my life! It definitely helped me grow as a scholar and as a person. . . . One other special way in which this scholarship has helped me out was by introducing me to Nancy and Ben Remak. Building a connection with the kind donors of this scholarship has provided me with another outlet to seek for advice and support.
We are encouraged to see these funds helping Paula Araque, and we hope to support many more students like her this year. Araque offers advice for a successful application:
I think that the most important thing is that you’re honest about yourself, especially when it comes to writing your personal statement. Sometimes we tend to fall into the trap that we have to adorn our writing to make our story sound more interesting than we think it is. I would say that, more often than not, the essence of the message that you are trying to convey is more important, and it will often sound more sincere and grounded than when you try to write to impress. It also does not hurt to talk to peers. . . . Sometimes, we don’t see the value in ourselves that others see. Therefore, it might be helpful to learn what others value about you to understand what kind of impact you can have on others.
For more information on these awards, visit https://history.washington.edu/scholarships-and-awards and be sure to apply before the March 27 deadline.