National Scholarship Winners

Alyssa Neill receiving news of her Truman Scholarship from President Dooley.

More and more of the most prestigious scholarships available in the U.S. are going to URI students. This year, three Hollings Scholarships from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration went to marine biology majors Emily Bishop, Katharine Egan, and Nicole Marone, who also majors in ocean engineering. With 16 Hollings Scholarships since 2009, we’ve received the highest number out of all New England institutions and the highest out of all public universities in the U.S.

Molly Wood ’13, double-majoring in Africana studies and political science, won a Boren Scholarship to study Swahili in Tanzania. Two students won Fulbrights: Dan Belbey ’13, an International Business Program graduate, will pursue a Master of Arts in Business Administration and Logistics at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany; the Fulbright awarded to Eily Cournoyer ’13, combined with a Whitaker International Program Fellowship, will enable her to study for a year at the Cancer Institute at University College in London. (Fulbright grants to study in England are the most competitive; only about six percent of applicants receive funding.) Political Science Professor Nicolai N. Petro also received a Fulbright, to study in Ukraine, researching his book about the Russian Orthodox Church to be published by Stanford University Press.

Truman Scholars are selected for their academic achievement, leadership ability, and likelihood of careers in public service. URI is the only public university in the Northeast to be named a Truman Scholarship Honor Institution for its active encouragement of students to pursue public service careers. This past spring, Alyssa Neill was one of only 61 college juniors nationwide to be named a Truman Scholar and was awarded a $30,000 grant for graduate study. A nutrition and dietetics major, she’s co-founded the student group Slow Food URI, launched a local food market, built a vegetable garden on campus, and represented the University at food forums near and far. “I want to be an advocate, especially for lower income people who don’t have access to wholesome food,” said Alyssa, a member of the URI President’s Council for Sustainability. She called it “an amazing surprise” when President David M. Dooley and a dozen of her professors showed up to one of her classes with a bouquet of flowers to announce her selection for the scholarship.