Barbara Ondrasik ’57 and David Groce Fellowship


With the generous support of a Whittier alumna and her husband, Whittier College has established the Barbara Ondrasik ’57 and David Groce Fellowship which is designed for sophomores or juniors of any major to engage in a substantial undergraduate academic research or creative project with a faculty mentor in any area of study.

To encourage full immersion in the project, the fellowship is intended to support students’ work during the summer, and under appropriate circumstances, the student’s work may continue during the academic year.

At the conclusion of their projects, Ondrasik-Groce Fellows will be required to submit a final product that demonstrates the outcome of their fellowship activity. For research fellowships, this typically will take the form of a research paper; for other projects, Fellows are required to submit a comparable final product, agreed upon by their project mentor (e.g., a film, sculpture). In addition, each Ondrasik-Groce Fellow is encouraged to make an oral presentation at URSCA Day at Whittier or a comparable campus forum. Fellows are highly encouraged to submit their work for publication in an academic journal, or to make a presentation at other academic conferences. A small amount of fellowship funds may be available for these activities. 

Ondrasik-Groce Fellowship awards and amounts may vary, depending on the project scope and timeframe, and may be attached to other independent academic opportunities such as international study or research, internships, etc. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Sophomores or juniors in good academic standing
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated by the Ondrasik-Groce advisor and a faculty committee based on:

  • The academic promise of the applicant.
  • The feasibility of the project.
  • The likelihood of successfully completing the project within the proposed timeframe.
  • The fit between the project and the student’s academic and/or career goals.

Program Benefits

The value of awards will be determined by the Student Fellowships Committee and the Ondrasik-Groce Fellowship advisor. The distribution of the fellowship award funds will be as follows:

  • A stipend of $5,000 for summer research.
  • A stipend of up to $500 for supplies, travel, or other project- related expenses.
  • An award of up to $1,500 for an augmenting scholarship upon completion of the project. Must be authorized by the fellow’s project advisor. 

Applying to the Program

The application is due on March 4, 2024. Use this guide to gather your application documents. Request these items two weeks prior to the deadline.

A complete application consists of:

  • Unofficial academic transcripts.
  • Current semester Course Progress Report for each 3-4 credit course you are enrolled in.
  • Signed sample Student Contract.
  • Signed Mentor Agreement.
  • A written recommendation letter from the faculty mentor for the project.
  • A reference contact from someone outside your major and the project’s area of focus. This can be a faculty member, or when applicable to the project, a personal reference (e.g., employer, internship supervisor, volunteer coordinator).
  • A 500-word essay explaining how you became interested in the project, why you want this fellowship opportunity, how you will benefit from the fellowship both personally and professionally, and what personal qualities (skills, attributes, and/or abilities) you possess that will ensure a successful fellowship experience. 
  • A 1000-word essay indicating the primary objective of your project, discuss why is it important, explain the methodology(ies)/ approach(es) that will be used to accomplish your objective, present a timeline for the project during the fellowship period, and identify the end result(s) of your project (e.g., a public presentation at URSCA or other conferences, a paper, artwork, play, etc.). 
  • Selected semi-finalists may be interviewed. 

Fellowship Advisor

Elizabeth Sanchez

Past Fellows


Leah Hermosa Gibson
Bekezhan Zhaxylykov


Raymond Hartig
Jacob Hayes

Thomas Lyle-Temple


Amelia Bennett
Lauren Beasley
Lisette Gomez
Sergi Jacobs
Teresa Marchetti


Angel Alcantar
Amy Trinh
Agnieszka Witanis
John Paul Gomez-Reed
Cornelis Kriek
Rachel Villarreal


Cindy Banh
Malory Henry
Taylor Watanabe
Bahaar Shaw
Jimena Ruiz
Kimberly Mayekawa
Aubrey Baran


Trent Beauchamp-Sanchez
Kyle Hendrix
Xingjie Li
Lyla Matar
Madeleine McMurray
Charles Newman
Trevor Tuma
Brianna Valles 


Jessica Adachi
Alma Corado Barrios 
Aidee Campa
Philip de Castro
Lauren Galantai 
Brianna Sahagian


Kellen Aguilar
Rebecca Baker
Samuel Farmer
Kai Gentile
Bryce Keen
Lydia Park