Roux Davies

Staff Writer

Fellowships are opportunities offered to students to expand their college experience and improve their employability. They are offered by both the university and external bodies. Dr. Vetrone states that “there’s a lot of benefit of doing this… Of course you can put it on your resume and you can put it on your CV. Some of these fellowships are nationally recognized; it’s a big feather in your cap to have them.” A fellowship is not an internship, Dr. Vetrone stressed. She explained; “[an] internship is probably a term that you’ve heard of multiple times… Typically those are unpaid experiences and… are really professional … because they are in areas right in industry! It’s really hard to get your foot in the door!  They have…summer internships where they essentially say ‘OK you’re going to come and you’re going to intern, but really all you’re doing is filing or giving people some coffee. But you’re in the mix and so the company think[s] you know they’re creating an opportunity for you … and essentially builds your network. And a lot of those opportunities are really great to get into those industries, but unfortunately they’re unpaid.” 

Fellowships, unlike most internships, are paid and involve highly engaging and relevant work. She continues, “[t]his is what is so great about the fellowship! [It’s] not only… handsomely paid, these also occur in the summer. You’re going to get paid anywhere from $4000 to $7000 depending on the duration of the fellowship. Most of them are 10 weeks long, [while] some of them can be as short as eight weeks, [and] some of them as long as 12 weeks. Almost all fellowships take place over the summer, allowing students to earn money, experience, and have fun while on break from their studies.” Students get great support and mentorship, while applying to a fellowship and during the fellowship.

Dr. Vetrone states that there are three particularly exciting fellowships open for applications from now until the beginning of November. These are the Uni-Health Peer Educator Fellowship & Internship, the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, and the Fellowship on the High Seas. 

The Uni-Health Peer Educator Fellowship & Internship is a fellowship centered around health. Dr. Vetrone says “[t]his is for any student interested in anything related to health (mental health, physical health, spiritual health), and it really trains students to learn how to be health educators, and [how to] provide mind, body, and soul wellness programs for their peers.” The fellowship is open to all students from every major. You do not have to be considering a career in healthcare to apply for this fellowship, although it would be a beneficial experience for any student considering employment in the healthcare industry. There are ten spaces available in this fellowship. Successful students will “spend the summer doing the fellowship, all of the training, getting a lot of professional workshops, as well as connecting and building a network with all of these health professionals.” Unique to the Uni-Health Peer Educator degree, successful applicants are enrolled in an internship the following academic year, “they’re serving as pure health educators doing various programming on campus and that’s the internship part of the program.” This is a great opportunity for students who care about health of any kind; mental, physical, or otherwise. If you would like to hear from students who are a part of this program, you can read it in the article Are We Okay: A Mental & Physical Health Report.  

The Mellon-Mays fellowship is an entirely different experience. Dr. Vetrone says that “[t]his is our most prestigious fellowship that we have at Whittier, it is like the gold standard.” This is a national fellowship created “to help support students to grow in their candidacy so that they can successfully matriculate into a PhD program in the social sciences and the natural sciences.” She continues saying it is “specifically for students who are interested in possibly becoming college professors and working on issues that will reduce racial disparities in and out of the classroom. It’s really racial justice kind of work that the students are doing as part of their program… their actual research or their activism perhaps and they really want to go on and get a PhD.” The Mellon-Mays fellowship is an opportunity for five students studying in the social sciences or humanities. “It’s a two year fellowship [that] really has a lot of funding… to support them financially.” The fellowship also teaches students “what it’s like to be an academic, [containing] Graduate School prep [and] mentorship experience.”  

Finally, the exciting fellowship on the High Seas. Vetrone describes this as “an opportunity for ten Whittier College students to essentially experience what it’s like to travel and live on a traditional wooden sailing ship. It kind of looks like a pirate ship if you will.” She further explains, “it’s a one week excursion in Northern California so it goes from Sausalito to Monterey Bay and back. Poets on the fellowship are going to be learning about the northern coast ecosystem in the process as well as learning how to operate and navigate such a vessel. As part of the fellowship, students then will take that experience to work on a project of their own design.” This opportunity “is open to students of all majors, students of all class standings. I mean who doesn’t want to go sailing for a week on a pirate ship right?” 

Fellowships are a great opportunity to enrich your college experience and set yourself up for a successful career. All three of these brilliant fellowships are open for applications right now. Many more fellowships can also be found on the fellowships webpage. Whittier College provides numerous fellowship opportunities for students in all years and all majors; individuals can ask Dr. Sylvia Vetrone, the Director of Fellowships, about the fellowships available. The Uni-Health Peer Educator Fellowship & Internship is a fellowship centered around health. Dr. Vetrone says “[t]his is for any student interested in anything related to health (mental health, physical health, spiritual health), and it really trains students to learn how to be health educators, and [how to] provide mind, body, and soul wellness programs for their peers.” The Mellon-Mays fellowship is a national fellowship created “to help support students to grow in their candidacy so that they can successfully matriculate into a Ph.D. program in the social sciences and the natural sciences.” Finally, there is the Fellowship on the High Seas. This excursion is described “as “an opportunity for ten Whittier College students to essentially experience what it’s like to travel and live on a traditional wooden sailing ship.” Vetrone continues by saying “it’s a one-week excursion in Northern California [that] goes from Sausalito to Monterey Bay and back. Poets on the fellowship are going to be learning about the northern coast ecosystem in the process as well as learning how to operate and navigate such a vessel. As part of the fellowship, students then will take that experience to work on a project of their own design.”

Whittier College provides numerous fellowship opportunities for students in all years and all majors; individuals can ask Dr. Sylvia Vetrone, the Director of Fellowships, about the fellowships available. 

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Vetrone / Whittier College 

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In collaboration by Quaker Campus staff members.
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