University of Vermont

University Communications

Student Awarded SMART Undergraduate Scholarship

(Photo: Sally McCay)

Ann Fiedler ’12, a mechanical engineering major and an Honors College student, has been awarded a 2011 Science, Mathematics & Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship from the Department of Defense. The SMART Scholarship for Service program supports students who demonstrate outstanding ability and special aptitude pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program also aims to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at the Department of Defense laboratories. Fiedler, a Scotch Plains, N.J. native, is the first UVM student to receive this scholarship.

The award is one of the most prestigious and lucrative awards available for undergraduate students in the STEM disciplines. As a SMART Scholar, Fiedler will receive a scholarship from the Department of Defense that will cover her full tuition and education related fees, an annual stipend of $25,000, paid summer internship opportunities, a health insurance reimbursement, a book allowance of $1,000 per academic year, professional mentoring and employment placement after graduation.

In exchange for the scholarship, Fiedler is obligated to fulfill a service requirement for the Department of Defense after she graduates from UVM. For her service requirement, Fiedler will spend at least a year working at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, N.H.

The SMART Program is administered by the American Society for Engineering Education, the Naval Postgraduate School, and is part of the National Defense Education Network. It aims to increase the number of scientists and engineers in the Department of Defense, and the program is particularly interested in supporting individuals who demonstrate an aptitude as well as an interest in conducting theoretical and applied research. As such, the program primarily targets what it calls, "hands-on-the-bench" researchers and engineers. The scholarship is extremely competitive; scholarship officials anticipated that this past fall 4,000 students from across the country applied for approximately 300 scholarships.

Since 2005, when the university put a centralized fellowship outreach and support program in place, 58 UVM students have won or been finalists in the country’s most prestigious and competitive competitions, including the Fulbright, Rhodes, Goldwater, Marshall, Udall, Truman, Madison, Gilman, and Boren Overseas scholarships.