With an assist from a student leader, Chancellor Ronnie Green celebrated Laura Damuth’s dedicated mentorship of Huskers pursuing major national and international fellowships.
During an April 18 meeting with Emily Johnson, president of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska and a recent Truman Scholar, Damuth was asked to briefly step out and discuss national student fellowships with a dean candidate. She agreed and walked to the dean’s office only to discover that the request was a ruse.
What awaited her was the chancellor and a host of Huskers who she had helped earn fellowships, all waiting to celebrate Damuth’s work on campus.
“They really surprised me,” Damuth said. “It was an amazing feeling to have all these people gathered to celebrate my job, which I love. It’s a tremendous opportunity to work each day with our amazing students.”
We managed to surprise a tremendous leader, Laura Damuth, today for her exceptional mentoring of students across a number of major national and international fellowship programs including Truman, Goldwater and Fulbrights where @UNLincoln is a national leader! She rocks! THANKS. pic.twitter.com/UkRKnlUQIy
— Ronnie D. Green (@RonnieDGreen) April 25, 2019
Since 2003, Damuth has served as the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s fellowships adviser. In that role, she assists students in the pursuit of competitive national and international awards, then mentors them through extensive application processes.
“Strong applications require a significant investment of time, which also helps our students reflect upon their interests and develop future plans,” Damuth said. “It’s a daunting process, but can be extremely rewarding.”
In a tabulation of some of the most prestigious fellowships since 2003, Damuth has helped develop more than 600 student applications with more than 210 awards earned. In Fulbrights alone, nearly a third of Huskers who apply under Damuth’s guidance have earned awards to study, teach and conduct research abroad.
Students who have earned awards while working with Damuth credit her mentoring, creative energy and compassion as primary reasons for their success.
“Laura has built a tremendous record of success and is an exceptional mentor to our students pursuing major national and international fellowships,” Green said. “Her commitment has helped us become a national leader in Truman, Goldwater and Fulbright awards.”
Hours after the celebration, Damuth was on a plane headed to New York for a vacation. Along the way, she learned that Goldwater Scholars had been announced and that three Huskers were on the list.
“I am forever grateful to the university to work with some of its best students,” Damuth said. “This is a tremendously rewarding position and I look forward continuing to help Huskers earn these prestigious awards.”
The April 18 celebration of Damuth's work is part of Chancellor Green's ongoing efforts to individually honor the success of students, faculty and staff at the university.
Under Laura Damuth's guidance since 2003, Huskers have earned:
30 Critical Language Scholarships