Natalia Ksiezyk Dyba
Manager of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards
When I was a senior in college at Rice University in Houston, TX, I found out about a post-graduate fellowship that awarded $20,000 to spend a year outside of the United States pursuing any topic of interest, whether academic or not. I decided to apply because I didn’t know what to do after graduation. My proposal was to study ski bums in Norway, Switzerland, Chile and New Zealand. Unfortunately, I was not selected. Fortunately, I learned some valuable lessons.
The first lesson was the importance of starting early. If I had started thinking of life after graduation my junior year, my options would have been much broader. Many merit scholarships, fellowships and awards require planning at least a year ahead. The second lesson was the value of self-reflection. Competitive merit scholarship applications require thinking deeply about where you’ve come from and where you’re going. In a page or two, your passion has to shine and captivate the reader. Although I was not successful the first time, I revisited merit scholarship opportunities five years later and applied for the Fulbright ETA program in Argentina. Applying the lessons previously learned paid off! I spent nine months teaching English and learning about a new part of the world at the National University of Mar del Plata in Argentina.
In my new role as the Manager of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards I have the opportunity to pass on my experience to help you take advantage of the exciting opportunities offered by merit scholarships. I look forward to working with you!
Student Scholarship Advisor
I am a full-time student pursuing a degree in Biology with future plans to go into the research field. I am hoping to work with autism and/or cancer related research. I got my Associates of Science (AS) degree in June of 2011 before transferring to UW Bothell.
Prior to coming to UWB, I was lost in the world of scholarships. I wasn’t sure where to look, apply or even who to trust with my information. With this new position, I have learned so much about all the opportunities out there and I am still learning every day. I don’t want to see you confused or lost when you can be taking the next step forward towards a better education. I want to help direct you in the right path of finding the right scholarship for you.