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

The Ondrasik-Groce Fellowship seeks students:

  • who are currently sophomores or juniors
  • who at the time of application have a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA

Selection Criteria

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

  • academic promise of the applicant
  • feasibility of the project 
  • 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:

  • up to $5,000 stipend for summer research
  • up to $500 for supplies, travel, or other expenses, as needed
  • up to $1,500 for an augmenting scholarship to be awarded in the fall semester pending the successful completion of summer research, which must be authorized by the fellow’s project advisor. 

Applying to the Program

The application is due on the first Friday of March. Use this guide to help you gather your application documents. Request these items two weeks prior to the deadline.

A complete application consists of:

  • Unofficial academic transcripts (a PDF of your Degree Works)
  • Current semester Course Progress Report for each 3-4 credit course you are enrolled in.
  • Student Contract
  • Signed Mentor Agreement
  • A written recommendation letter from the faculty mentor for the project.
  • A reference contact from someone outside of the applicants major and 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 time line 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 conference, a paper, art work, play, etc.). 
  • Selected semi-finalists may be interviewed. 

Fellowship Advisor

Professor Sylvia Vetrone

Past Fellows


Angel Alcantar '21
Amy Trinh '20
Agnieszka Witanis '19
John Paul Gomez-Reed '21
Cornelis Kriek '21
Rachel Villarreal '21


Cindy Banh '19
Malory Henry '19
Taylor Watanabe '20, Biology
Bahaar Shaw '19
Jimena Ruiz '19, Biology
Kimberly Mayekawa '19, Biology
Aubrey Baran '19


Trent Beauchamp-Sanchez '19, English, Studio Art
Kyle Hendrix '18, Business Administration, Economics
Xingjie Li '18, Business Administration
Lyla Matar '19, Music, Sociology
Madeleine McMurray '18, Business Administration, Environmental Studies
Charles Newman '18, Whittier Scholar
Trevor Tuma '18, Biology, Environmental Science
Brianna Valles '18, Kinesiology 


Jessica Adachi '17, Child Development
Alma Corado Barrios '17, Psychology 
Aidee Campa '17, English
Philip de Castro '18, Mathematics
Lauren Galantai '17, Kinesiology 
Brianna Sahagian '17, Whittier Scholars Program


Kellen Aguilar '16, English, History
Rebecca Baker '16, English
Samuel Farmer '16, Economics
Kai Gentile '16, Mathematics
Bryce Keen '15, Biology
Lydia Park '16, Psychology