Rachel Newman, assistant director of the MU Fellowships Office, has accepted the position of interim director following the retirement of former Director Tim Parshall. Parshall’s official last day was Saturday, July 6, 2019, after serving as the office’s director since 2011.
Newman — a University of Missouri alumna with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s in educational leadership and policy analysis — has served as assistant director since 2017. She worked at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, as an English language programs administrator in 2016 before returning to her alma mater as an annual giving and membership coordinator for the Mizzou Alumni Association.
“Being trusted to lead the MU Fellowships Office means maintaining strong relationships with colleagues across campus, strengthening existing partnerships and developing new ones where possible, and engaging more students,” Newman says. “I look forward to seeing what strengths new team members will bring to the office, especially in light of the strong program that already exists.”
The MU Fellowships Office identifies high-ability and high-achieving students as early as possible in their college careers to assist them as candidates for nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships. In the 2018–19 academic year, the office assisted students in submitting more than 200 applications for nationally competitive awards, surpassing its previous application high of 127. Newman looks forward to maintaining this positive momentum in the coming academic year with the support of the university community.
“It’s incredibly rewarding to see students persevere and never give up on their dreams,” Newman says. “This sounds cliché, but it is so true. For example, this year a student I met nearly four years ago when he was a freshman was selected for a fellowship for which he applied three times. The look of happiness of his face when he received his fellowship offer this spring is a moment I won’t forget.”