Nixon Fellowship Program


The Richard M. Nixon Fellowship was created by gifts and funds from friends and alumni to honor Whittier College alumnus and former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon '34.

The fellowship was established in Nixon’s honor after a campus visit by Dr. Henry Kissinger, who talked about Nixon’s efforts to open up our relationship with China. The fellowship is designed to prepare exceptional students for informed citizenship and service through internships and or research opportunities that echo Nixon’s successful legacy in domestic and foreign policy. Fellows will develop leadership skills, increase international understanding, and experience the rewards inherent in a career dedicated to the public good. One Whittier College student will be selected annually to be a Nixon Fellow and engage in a self-designed program of focused learning and applied experience. The proposed work will support student research on some aspect of Richard Nixon’s Presidential or Vice-Presidential careers, especially foreign or domestic policy issues. The Fellowship has also been used to fund student participation in the Democratic and Republic National Conventions in 2016 and 2008 and the Presidential Inauguration in 2012.  

Eligibility Criteria

  • First-year, Sophomore or Junior standing
  • A minimum 3.2 GPA
  • Open to all students of any major or academic program

Selection Criteria

  • Demonstrated academic ability.
  • The ability to conduct and complete the proposed research project, internship, or experience.
  • Previous experience with research is welcome, but not necessary.
  • If traveling abroad is part of the proposal, the ability to engage in study abroad.

Program Benefits

  • A stipend of $5,000.00 (to be used for research activities & travel, applied toward tuition, etc.)
  • When applicable, students may also be funded to attend the Presidential Inauguration or the Democratic or Republican National Conventions

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 DegreeWorks)
  • A resumé
  • 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 why you want this fellowship opportunity, how you will benefit from the fellowship both personally and professionally, your career goals in public service, and what personal qualities (skills, attributes, and/or abilities) you possess that will ensure a successful fellowship experience. 
  • A 1000-word essay outlining the proposed research project, internship or travel experience.  This should articulate 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 Mike McBride,

Past Fellows

Amy Trinh '20
Richard Manjarres (2018-2019)
Caleb Britton (2017-2018)
Titus Grabauskas (2016-2017)
Cindy Banh (2016 –Republican National Convention)
Samantha Vega (2016 – Democratic National Convention)
Patrick Kellycooper (2015-2016)
Clifton Whittaker (2015-2016)
Mathew Emerick (2014-2015)
Jessica Nemervoski (2014-2015)
William Hougan (2013-2014)
Mario Obando (2012-2013)
Daniel Kulick (2012 – Presidential Inauguration)
Carlee Shults (2012 – Presidential Inauguration)
Poonam Narawatt (2011-2012)
Melissa Samarin (2010-2011)
Alex Tallarida (2009-2010)
Caitlin Finley (2008-2009)
Steve Addezio (2008 – National Convention; partial funding)
Teresa Baranowski (2008 – National Convention; partial funding)
Daniel Strauss (2008 – National Convention; partial funding)
Neslie Tumulac (2008 – National Convention; partial funding)
Hansen Hunt (2007-2008)