ONSF Society of Fellows

ThONSF Society of Fellows_2015-16 copye ONSF Undergraduate Society of Fellows consists of rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are committed to the study of humanistic inquiry and, through that, self-discovery. First-year students are welcome to apply spring semester of their freshman year. We meet formally once a month during the semester to discuss and debate matters of common interest in the company of invited members of the UT faculty, graduate students, ONSF alumni, and distinguished guests. Additional events will be scheduled collectively throughout the year, including a closing dinner to celebrate the graduating class and those fellows rotating off the membership.

The ONSF Undergraduate Society of Fellows is an initiative of the Office of National Scholarships (ONSF), which is broadly committed to cultivating a culture of scholarship. This includes facilitating and supporting a community of fellows where challenging discourse, debate and self-discovery thrive.

Faculty Fellows:

  • Dr. Ron Kalafsky, PhD, Geography
  • Dr. Michael Handelsman, PhD, Spanish Language and Literature

Senior Fellow and Director:

  • Nichole Fazio-Veigel, MA, MSt. (Oxon), History of Art

Senior Fellows:

  • Becca Mattingly-Harman, Graduate Student in Soil Sciences and International Development; ONSF Advisor
  • Katie Lou Rogers, Senior, Biomedical Engineering; ONSF Student Coordinator
  • Patrick Caveney, UT PhD candidate in Bioenergy and Biofuels, Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education

2015-16 Honorary ONSF Exploration Grant Fellows: 

  • Victoria Baker, Senior, Education, with secondary qualification in Deaf-Education; Pre-Fulbright
  • Taylor Cox, Senior, Chemistry, Spanish; Pre-Fulbright
  • Cayce Davis, Senior, Architecture: Pre-Fulbright, Marshall
  • Miranda Gottlieb, Senior, Political Science and Spanish; Pre-Fulbright, Marshall
  • Robert Nowell, Alum, Philosophy; Pre-Fulbright, Marshall, Rhodes
  • McKenzie Ratner, Senior, Political Science; Pre-Fulbright, Rhodes
  • Sara Stein, Senior, College Scholars: Chemistry and Food Security; Pre-Fulbright

2015-16 Fellows:

  • Amany Alshibli, Sophomore, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Joshua Brown, Sophomore, College Scholars: Religious Studies
  • Don Black, Sophomore, Aerospace Engineering
  • Grant Currin, Junior, College Scholars
  • Daniel Encisco, Sophomore, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Sarah Hagaman, Senior, English
  • Dylan Haywood, Senior, College Scholars: Statistics and Social Humanities, Alternative Justice Processes
  • Tyler Hounshell, Sophomore, College Scholars: International Relations and Sustainable Development
  • Kelsey Kitchens, Junior, Political Science
  • Patrick McKenzie, Junior, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Mathematics
  • Connor Minton, Senior, Computer Science and Mathematics
  • Zachary Pasternak, Junior, Chemical Engineering
  • Avanti Rangnekar, Sophomore, Global Health
  • Eddie Roe, Junior, College Scholars: Global Event Management, Social Justice, and French
  • Colleen Ryan, Junior, Global Studies: Politics and Economics
  • Coral Thayer, Sophomore, Classics
  • Anagha Uppal, Junior, College Scholars: Computational Social Science
  • Henry Wilcox, Sophomore, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Application process: To become a member of the ONSF Undergraduate Society of Fellows, students must complete and submit the online application.   Fellows will be selected based on a commitment to the Society as evidenced by their application and willingness to participate actively throughout the year. Please do not apply if you cannot commit to regular attendance of all Society meetings and events. If you have any questions about the Society, please email Nichole Fazio-Veigel at aseidler@utk.edu. Selected society members will be notified before the end of spring semester and required to attend one group meeting before summer commences.

Apply online HERE.

Deadline: rolling through August 15, 2015 (limited number of seats still available)

Undergraduates from all disciplines and international students are welcome and encouraged to apply.


  • Must be a current UT undergraduate;
  • There is no minimum GPA; however, Fellows should be committed to excellence in their academic work and co-curricular experiences;
  • Note: If you are currently a graduate student and would like to participate as a senior fellow, please contact Nichole Fazio-Veigel directly at nfaziove@utk.edu. 

Term and benefits of Society Fellowship

  • One academic year; renewable for current fellows;
  • Regular advising with ONSF staff, as desired;
  • Targeted guidance on nationally competitive scholarship, fellowships and experiential learning opportunities, including pre-release announcements and access to ONSF-sponsored award programs, like the ONSF Exploration Grant fund;
  • Personal statement development and peer-/staff-review process;
  • Opportunity to facilitate discussion and engage with key faculty and guests across campus;
  • Society fellows, following their first completed year, will be able to use the experience as an ‘honor’ designation for their CVs and other applications;
  • This is not a monetary fellowship but a membership to a society of fellows. All members of the Society will have advanced knowledge and access to any new financial awards and opportunities offered through the ONSF.

Selection Process: The ONSF Undergraduate Society of Fellows is limited to a maximum of 25 full-fellows. Therefore, the selection process is competitive.

  • Applicants will be considered based on the quality and sincerity of their application;
  • Applications will be reviewed based on the evidence of commitment to the monthly Society meetings and special events;
  • Strong applications will include creative ideas for enhancing the community of fellows and its meetings and events;
  • Candidates should know that their applications will be read by faculty and staff, who will base their recommendations for membership on the quality of the application materials. Therefore, you are encouraged to practice ‘good application behavior’ including submitting in a timely manner and editing all your materials before submitting.