Presidential, Merit and Dean’s Scholars in the Class of 2013 were welcomed to Fordham College at Rose Hill on Sept. 29 at a reception in Duane Library.

The freshmen, who already have shown high academic potential, were given information on distinguished fellowships they can pursue and support the University provides to help them succeed.

Joseph Currie, S.J., (right) speaks with FCRH freshmen at the annual Presidential, Merit and Dean’s Scholars reception. Photo by Nina Romeo

“You are already in the select group of students who have all the natural abilities. Our job is to help you get there,” said Maria Noonan, assistant director of the St. Edmund Campion Institute for the Advancement of Intellectual Excellence.

Noonan noted that there are “literally thousands” of fellowship opportunities for students who actively pursue them.

John R. Kezel, Ph.D., director of the Campion Institute, stressed the importance of maintaining an excellent academic record starting in freshman year; getting to know professors; and pursuing summer fellowships and internships to compete for the most esteemed academic prizes, like the Rhodes, Marshall and Fulbright.

Kezel gave the example of six undergraduates from both Fordham College at Lincoln Center and Fordham College at Rose Hill who received DAAD RISE summer fellowships to study in Germany under doctoral candidates in the sciences.

“It’s a wonderful way to get the study-abroad experience in the summer while you are engaging in something that is profitable for you,” he said.

“Another thing that scholarships look for is community service and leadership, so I would encourage you—not to let your studies go—but in your spare time to engage in community service and eventually play a leadership role in something that interests you,” Kezel added.

“These fellowships really are tremendous opportunities,” said Michael Latham, Ph.D., dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill. “They are a chance for you to study, to work and do research in places that otherwise you might not get to experience. They can really open a lot of doors for you in terms of graduate study and your careers.”

Applying for fellowships is a worthwhile endeavor, no matter what the results are, Latham said.

“The process itself, while it can be time consuming and while it does take a lot of work, is also really quite valuable,” he said. “It’s a way for you to help discover your own gifts, your own abilities, to help you get a sense of what your future interests might be. So I would highly recommend that you take advantage of the opportunities.”