For CU’s upcoming fall semester, three students have been named the university’s Top Scholars, due to the significant amount of student funds they have been awarded.
Boróka Bó, a senior sociology and public health major, has recently been awarded the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans Scholarship, worth up to $90,000 for her first two years of graduate school for tuition and living expenses.
Additionally, twins Sri and Sai Radhakrishnan, sophomore chemical engineering majors, have both been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship worth up to $7,500 over the next two years.
Bó lived in the Hungarian minority of Romania until she was 14 years old. During her first year at CU, she founded a nonprofit organization called the Transylvanian Community Foundation. The mission of the organization is to end the systematic discrimination of Gypsy and other persecuted minorities in Transylvania.
Sri and Sai both hope to pursue careers in the medical field, specifically tissue engineering. They are both members of Engineers without Borders and Colorado Engineer Magazine.
Sri found out about the scholarship through the top scholars website organized by Deborah Viles.
“Ms. Viles’ encouragement and kindness inspired me to apply for the scholarship,” Sri said.
Bó also found out about the Soros scholarship from Viles.
“I highly recommend all future CU applicants to contact her if they are interested in applying for any competitive fellowships,” Bó said. “She is absolutely incredible.”
The competition for these scholarships is very high, with hundreds of students applying across the country, and the application process is quite tedious.
“I spent about three months putting together my application materials, writing essays and gathering supplementary information,” Bó said. “I feel very grateful to all my professors who wrote me recommendation letters, gave me feedback on my essays and cheered me on through the process. I think this is where CU really shines, as we have so many absolutely incredible professors and instructors.”
“It was not easy to stay motivated mid-October last semester and write the multiple essays required for the scholarship amidst all of the midterms,” Sri said. “My sister, Sai, and my mentors, Ms. Viles and Dr. Dougherty, helped me stay motivated and apply for the scholarship.”
Selection is a huge accomplishment, and the recipients felt lucky to be associated with such great programs in the end.
“I feel absolutely humbled by the opportunity to join such a prestigious group of students but also am touched by the approach of the fellowship itself,” Bó said. “As an applicant, you never feel like you need to fit a cookie-cutter mold; you truly can be your unique self.”
For the future, these students are excited to put their funds to good use.
“I am excited to continue my research endeavors at CU,” Sri said. “CU students, including myself, are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to participate in valuable research as undergraduates. It is definitely not something that I can take for granted. I am also very interested in the field of medicine. I hope to incorporate both research and clinical medicine in my future occupation.”
The Soros scholarship will help Bó when she starts her graduate studies program for a Ph.D. in medical sociology at the University of California at San Francisco, but she is proud to be able to represent CU among the fellows of the Soros program.
Additionally, the award will benefit both Sri and twin sister Sai as they continue their studies and career opportunities.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share this honor with my twin sister,” Sri said. “People who have interacted with us would immediately notice the multiple similarities we share. Surprisingly, however, our research interests are different. I am excited to see the paths we take as we continue to explore our goals.”
Top Scholar coordinator Viles is so excited about these and many other students’ successes across the campus.
“It’s a real pleasure for me to work with students like these; they represent all the best our university has to offer,” Viles said. “CU provides rich and varied opportunities for students to be involved in their fields, and to develop personally, professionally and academically. Winning a prestigious award is one measure of their success and ours. I’m extremely proud of all our winners and finalists.”
For more information on Top Scholars, contact Deborah Viles at Viles@colorado.edu or visit the Top Scholarships website at http://enrichment.colorado.edu/topscholarships/.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Megan Moran at Megan.email@example.com.