Coordinator Will Advise Students on Postgraduate Opportunities

Posted: August 30, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

Deirdre Moloney is a name-dropper: Fulbright, Marshall, Goldwater and Truman roll off her tongue as if they were the names of her best friends. But they aren’t people she knows. They are the names of some of the most coveted postgraduate fellowships around, and Moloney plans to help Mason undergraduates and recent grads snag them.

Deirdre Moloney
Deirdre Moloney

As the new coordinator for postgraduate fellowships and scholarships in Student Academic Affairs, Moloney can point future fellows in the right direction and assist them through an often lengthy application process.

“I’m here to help students find the many opportunities across disciplines that are available,” Moloney says. And find them early. She says students sometimes need to start the process in their sophomore year since application deadlines fall in their junior or senior years.

Applying for a fellowship doesn’t mean just filling out a form. It can involve writing a self-assessment, setting long-term goals and looking for opportunities to demonstrate leadership, all of which can give one an edge in the competition. These steps need to be done well before writing an essay and gathering letters of recommendation.

Studying abroad and acquiring fluency in a foreign language may also give applicants a boost, Moloney explains. “Having a global perspective makes a student well-positioned for international opportunities.”

Students who become involved in undergraduate research projects through Mason’s Faculty-Student Apprenticeship Program or complete internships also gain valuable experience for graduate-level studies, she notes.

Moloney will for the first time centralize a previously decentralized system at Mason. A key strategy for her will be to work closely with faculty members. They will write fellowship recommendations, serve on advisory committees and refer students to her office. She has already had meetings with faculty members this summer to acquaint them with her new role.

But Moloney also wants students to come to her directly, and she will be looking for opportunities to meet with them. She will soon have a display available in her office with brochures and applications on the various programs. She plans to develop a web site with the help of a graduate student.

“George Mason students are doing some incredible things,” she says. “We want to identify them early on and help them develop their long-term goals.”

Moloney comes to Mason from Saint Francis University, where she taught history for 10 years. (She has a PhD in American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison). Her office is on the Fairfax Campus in the Johnson Center, Room 245. She can be reached at dmoloney@gmu.edu or 703-993-2917.

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