Office of Fellowships welcomes new director

By Drew Howard , governance , news and pageone | 4/6/15 11:05am


Elizabeth Lambert will replace five-year leader and founder Amanda Cuevas as the new director of the Grand Valley State University Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships starting June 15.

Located in Room 230 of the Mary Idema Pew Library, the Meijer Office of Fellowships is in place to help students pursue competitive scholarships, fellowships and awards. To date, the office has helped grant close to $1 million to GVSU students and alumni.

In her current position as the director of fellowships at Indiana University, Lambert is responsible for advising students as they apply for graduate studies and programs, both in the United States and overseas. Prior to this, Lambert worked in various nonprofit foundations, museums and historic sites.

Despite her success, Lambert said she originally had a different career in mind.

“I began graduate school intending to become a professor,” Lambert said. “As a graduate student, I discovered a talent for grant writing and applying for fellowships. Along the way, I realized that, while I enjoy teaching, I love to assist students in identifying their passions – particularly if they involve studying abroad.”

Lambert said she has lived outside of the U.S. for close to one-third of her life in a total of seven countries. These include France, England, Austria, Italy, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.

As someone who has had more than enough experience studying abroad, Lambert said she believes her stories abroad will benefit her as she works with undergraduate and graduate students at GVSU.

“Working as the director of fellowships allows me to share experiences gained as a student and faculty member in various countries,” she said. “I can then assist students and faculty members in identifying salient funding opportunities, regardless of a student’s long-term goals, major/minor and life circumstances.”

During her time in graduate school, Lambert was at the receiving end of awards such as the Fulbright Institute of International Education Award to Germany as well as the DAAD Fellowship, the German Academic Exchange Service award.

Cuevas said that, in addition to Lambert’s diverse set of accolades and study abroad experiences, the GVSU search committee was also looking for a candidate who was completely devoted to helping students achieve their goals.

“I thought it was critical that this candidate be a wonderful collaborator and connector on campus,” Cuevas said. “I hope Elizabeth will be able to take the vision I have established and bring her own vision in engaging more students and alumni.”

As the new director, Lambert said she hopes to get the word out to campus on how the Office of Fellowships is there to help all GVSU students.

“I want to encourage greater numbers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics students (STEM) as well as professional students applying for domestic and international fellowships,” she said. ”I also want to encourage students to think about fellowships to support graduate study, teaching English overseas, internships and service programs including Peace Corps and AmeriCorps.

“In other words, I will do all that I can to expand awareness of the fellowship office and to make students aware that, regardless of their majors, disciplines, background or family situation, there are opportunities to support internships, study, research and teaching.”

For more information about the Office of Fellowships, visit www.gvsu.edu.fellowships/, or call (616)-331-2699.

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