Office of Major Fellowships names new director, launches website
Clemson University has tapped Robyn Curtis to be director of the new Office of Major Fellowships. This position will allow undergraduates and graduate students to further their educations by pursuing a number of nationally competitive grants and fellowships that can fund research and study-abroad opportunities, reinforcing Clemson’s commitment to creating an exceptional university experience for all students.
Under Curtis’ leadership, the Office of Major Fellowships has already launched a new website with information on available grants and two intake forms: one for students to schedule grant advising appointments and the other is a referral form for faculty and staff to submit student recommendations. Curtis will also utilize Canvas working groups to help manage the application process, which hasn’t been previously done at the university.
Over the past several years, Clemson has had a number of students receive funding from nationally competitive programs, including the Fulbright, Truman and Boren scholarships. In her new role, Curtis will work with faculty and students not only to increase the number of applicants for these programs, but also strategically advise how to prepare the strongest applications possible. Since joining the university this summer, Curtis has already worked with a number of students, helping the university hit record numbers of Marshall Scholarship and Fulbright student nominations.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Curtis was herself a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities and a Phi Kappa Phi National Fellow before becoming a fellowships adviser.
“Fellowships advising is the job I never knew I always wanted,” said Curtis. “While fellowships advising isn’t new at the university, it is the first time there has been a distinct office with a full-time position dedicated to providing guidance on finding nationally competitive opportunities and advising students on how to best prepare applications. I am looking forward to creating further awareness on campus about the wide range of grants and scholarships that are available and to helping our students find new learning opportunities that will allow them to reach their personal and professional goals.”
Prior to joining Clemson, Curtis was the director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg. During the 10 years she was director, the university had an increase in successful applications, including the best results in the state for several competitions, including the Goldwater, Truman and Gilman scholarships and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.
Curtis has been an active member of the National Association of Fellowship Advisers since 2008 and is currently serving as the secretary during the 2017-19 biennium.