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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Government professor wants students to consider fellowships sooner

Jason Ackleson, assistant professor of government and the new fellowships coordinator and associate director of the Honors Program at New Mexico State University, wants to get students to apply for fellowships earlier in their college careers.


in their college careers, many students switch their majors or aren't sure of what they want to do. Most students who come into the office looking to apply for fellowships are already seniors," he said. "But it takes time to create an application package that can do well in national competitions."

As fellowships coordinator, Ackleson recruits students who want to attend graduate school and helps them apply for major national fellowships, which can help pay for it.

"There are many different fellowships out there. Some pay for more than just graduate school," Ackleson said. "For example, the Goldwater Scholarship also pays for a student's junior and senior years in college and the Truman Scholarship also pays for a student's senior year."

Once students have decided on which fellowships to apply for, Ackleson helps them through the application process. He also teaches students about successful application strategies to give them a better chance of receiving a fellowship.

"The application process helps students to think about what they really want to do in graduate school and in their careers. It's great for personal growth because students have to write and re-write essays about themselves to include in the application package," he said.

Ackleson received fellowships to attend graduate school while earning his bachelor's degree in government at New Mexico State. He earned his Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics.

"I'm hoping to unlock those opportunities for other students. They are tremendous opportunities, and not just educationally," Ackleson said. "My fellowship experiences were really meaningful."

Ackleson also teaches government courses, including public and national security policies and is the faculty advisor for the university's Model United Nations team.

The Honors Program, Graduate School and New Mexico Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (NM-AGEP) at New Mexico State will hold a fellowship writing workshop for seniors and first- and second-year pre-doctoral graduate students in science, mathematics, engineering and social and behavioral sciences from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, in the Conroy Honors Center Commons. Students must pre-register by Sept. 19 by calling (505) 646-3845 or sending an e-mail to broan@nmsu.edu.

The Honors Program holds various activities for the university community, including the Undergraduate Research and Creative Arts Symposium, a Crimson Scholar picnic, chess tournaments and the University Speaker Series. Former speakers in the series include Carlos Fuentes, Stephen Jay Gould, Jane Goodall, Alice Walker, Elie Wiesel, F. W. de Klerk, Gloria Steinem, Oliver Sacks, Susan Sontag, Edward James Olmos and N. Scott Momaday.

For more information about the Honors Program, fellowships or the University Fellowships Office, contact Ackleson at (505) 646-2051.