The Office of External Fellowships

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

Both internal and external scholarships are important opportunities with which UIC supports students. We are very pleased to inform you of recent changes made regarding scholarship advising and administration to best provide this support.

Until Fall 2017, the Office of Special Scholarship Programs provided scholarship information, general scholarship advising, advising for, and coordination of, nationally-competitive scholarships and fellowships, and leadership for SnAP!, UIC’s online scholarship management system.

The Office of Special Scholarships Programs has now become the Office of External Fellowships (OEF) under the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Academic Programs.  OEF is dedicated to advising and preparing students in their pursuit of nationally and internationally competitive external fellowships, scholarships, and grants. These opportunities include: the Truman Scholarship, Fulbright Grant, Goldwater Scholarship, and Rhodes Scholarship. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Kim Germain as the Director of OEF.

Kim Germain comes to UIC’s Office of External Fellowships with 12 years of experience as a fellowships advisor, having previously directed similar offices at Colgate University and New York University.  In July 2017, she was elected by her colleagues in the National Association of Fellowships Advisors (NAFA) to serve on its Executive Board.

Prior to becoming a fellowships advisor, Kim held a visiting faculty position in Gender and Women’s Studies at Oberlin College and spent several years as a preceptor in the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS) at the University of Chicago, where she also earned her MA and PhD in Political Science.

A first-generation college student who started out as a prospective engineering major, Kim realized she missed reading, writing, and arguing about ideas.  She found an academic home in political science and earned her Bachelor’s degree in that field from MIT.  While teaching in interdisciplinary programs, she found her favorite part of her job was contributing to students’ academic and personal development.  She eventually discovered fellowships advising and found it to be a perfect fit, both personally and professionally.  Kim believes that her own academic and career history, with two big swerves instead of a straight line, helps her to advise students who have different paths, goals, and academic disciplines.

Internal campus scholarships are now under UIC Student Affairs within the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. Providing opportunities for considering scholarships as part of the full scope of funding UIC students, the campus-wide scholarship system, UIC SnAP!, and general scholarships are being managed by Ms. Kara Holloway.

Kara holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Hampton University and a Master of Science in Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University, and joined UIC nine years ago after serving as an advertising agency director. She has orchestrated special projects such as the scholarship process for the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and has been a strong advocate for UIC students and their success. Kara accepted the position of Director of Scholarships during Fall 2017 and immediately began assisting our current students, prospective students, and colleagues in this new role. Her holistic and learning-centered approach should serve the UIC community well.

We are excited about these changes to scholarship advising and administration. The synergy created through partnerships between these offices provides optimum support for students in terms of both funding and the pursuit of academic success.

Please join us in welcoming both Kim Germain and Kara Holloway!


J. Rex Tolliver
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Nikos Varelas
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Academic Programs

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