Regional Summer Workshops

NAFA Regional Summer Workshops

The National Association of Fellowships Advisors participates in a variety of conferences and other events throughout the year. In the years between the Biennial National Conferences we offer summer workshops with a variety of topics of importance to Fellowships Advisors. The workshops that have been offered are listed below:

2020 Workshops

2018 Workshops

2016 Workshops

2014 Workshops

2012 Workshops

2008 Workshops

2006 Workshops

2004 Workshops

2002 Workshop


NAFA Regional Summer Workshops

NAFA Summer Workshops bring fellowships advisers together in smaller settings to focus on particular issues. They are an opportunity to dig deeper into our professions, the challenges we face, and the desire to improve what we do.  It is also an especially good time to build closer relationships and establish professional and personal ties.  Each of the sessions is run by the host institution, along with partner institutions from the local area. 

 2018 Workshops

 New Advisor Workshop (2 full days)

  • DATES: June 25-26 (see details below)
  • HOST: Rollins College, Winter Park, FL
  • HOTEL: Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Downtown
  • The role of a fellowships advisor is not for the faint of heart; it is a calling! This workshop explored the intersection of fellowship advising with faculty, staff, and students, and considered the role of student development, ethics, administration, and management of prestigious scholarships. From this workshop new advisors left better equipped to serve their institution and to advance the mission of NAFA.

  • Resources: New Advisor Workshop 2018 Institutional Presenters

  • Resources: New Advisor Workshop 2018 Foundation Presenters

Graduate Student Fellowships Focus

  • DATES: July 9 (11:30 AM) - July 10 (4:00 PM)
  • HOST:  University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • HOTEL: Hyatt Regency McCormick Place  $189/night
  • This workshop was an inagural NAFA event dedicated to the professional development of fellowship advisors who work with graduate students. Organized by and for graduate fellowship advisors, this workshop addressed questions, topics, and best practices pertinent to graduate students and graduate student research funding, including: advising diverse candidate pools (both in terms of academic discipline and student background); understanding the complex graduate funding landscape and advising beyond the “big awards”; advising students to prepare for fellowships with broader impacts; and advising students to think of fellowships as professional development for all career paths. This workshop also connected advisors with graduate level program officers from NIH, Fulbright, AAUW, Mellon ACLS, NSF DDRIG, and Ford.  

    Resources: Graduate Student Fellowships 2018 

Assessment - Reaccrediting - Justification

  • DATES: July 19 (8:00 AM) - July 20 (1:30 PM)
  • HOST:  University of Portland, Portland, OR
  • HOTEL: University Residence or Hotel on your Own
  • REGISTRATION ($130):  Register for Portland Workshop 
  • This workshop is designed for veteran advisors who have some experience with assessment, but are seeking to improve their assessment practices. The day and a half workshop will focus first on an overview of best practices and establishing a manageable process that will accomplish advisor’s goals; time will be provided for a working session on developing or refining processes and plans at participants’ institutions, and the application of the information gathered in assessment processes. An added bonus: visits from program officers for Fulbright and Knight-Hennessy to discuss advisors’ questions and concerns about the programs.

    Topics will include:

    ·         Building a Manageable Assessment Process
    ·         Best Practices in Fellowship Advising Assessment
    ·         Using Your Assessment Tools to Justify Your Office
    ·         Foundations Sessions: Fulbright, Knight-Hennessey, Schwarzman
  • Resources: Assessment Workshop 2018

  •  The workshop is sponsored by Oregon NAFA Advisors


2016 Workshops

Our Changing Demographics and Roles:  Diversity and Nationally Competitive Scholarships

  • DATES: June 23-24 (1.5 days)
  • HOST: Claremont Colleges Consortium [Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Scripps College], Claremont, CA
  • This year especially, colleges and universities across the country have been recognizing that they are less equipped than they realized to serve students from underrepresented communities. This workshop will consider how our students’ changing demographics present new challenges and new opportunities for fellowship advisers and their constituencies. We will explore how fellowship offices can promote better access for underrepresented students and consider questions such as: Why is diversity important for nationally competitive fellowships? What are effective and ineffective outreach strategies? What kinds of institutional partners can we develop? How can we expand our own focus to include lesser known awards? Are there ways to increase multicultural representation in the pool of applicants for the large, well known awards that we already administer? 


Public Service and Nationally Competitive Scholarships—Government, Social Activism, Research and Advocacy

  • DATES: July 12-13 (2 days) 
  • HOST:  American University, Washington, D.C.
  • This workshop provides a unique opportunity to take full advantage of Washington, D.C.   The federal government is a big provider of the international scholarships; yet it provides these in order to support its own priorities with respect to foreign policy.  How are these priorities evolving and how might this impact the fellowships landscape in the future?  What are the parameters of leadership as defined by national scholarships?  Where does research and social activism fit in the fellowships process? This is a chance to talk with the experts and with meet national fellowship leaders.


New Advisor Workshop

  • DATES: July 25-26
  • HOST:  Tulane University, New Orleans
  • Come and learn the nuts and bolts of how to be an effective fellowships adviser, what steps to take in order to engage your campus, and how best to work with students and faculty.  This is an introduction to fellowships advising that will enable you to leave with a greater understanding of how to handle the diverse responsibilities of managing the fellowships processes on your campus and a set of concrete steps and approaches to move forward in your role as Fellowships Adviser. 


Midwest Fellowships Advising Symposium

Workshop Summary & Resources

  • DATE: June 10 (11a - 5p) 
  • HOST:  Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • This half-day symposium for higher education professionals in Illinois and nearby states provided educators, advisors, and administrators with conversation, resources, and strategies for helping underrepresented and minority students navigate the process of applying for scholarships and fellowships.  The goals of the symposium were two-fold: 1. to learn from campus partners who manage programs for many of the diverse students we advise on scholarships and fellowships, and 2. to create a productive dialogue with colleagues at community and technical colleges who serve as fellowship advisors but who may not be engaged with the broader fellowships advising community.



2014 Workshops

The National Association of Fellowships Advisors participates in a variety of conferences and other events throughout the year. In 2014, it included three separate summer workshops:

Large-School Summer Workshop
Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 
June 12-13, 2014

On behalf of NAFA, Florida State University will host an official Summer Workshop for advisers from large state universities. These schools would include Research 1 and large land grant institutions with student bodies greater than 15,000. However, members from smaller schools may consider our focus when determining if this conference may be of benefit to them. For example, advisors who are constantly working to identify potential applicants from the entirety of a student body may find this workshop helpful. Perhaps a school might have a large student body but is not an R1 institution. To some extent, advisers will need to be self-defining. Of course, many of the issues we discuss would apply also to advisers from practically all universities, but we intend to create a workshop that will focus on the concerns of individuals who work with larger student bodies and within defined and complex bureaucracies.

Small to Mid-Sized School Summer Workshop
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts
June 26-27, 2014

On behalf of NAFA, the College of the Holy Cross will host an official Summer Workshop for advisers from small and mid-sized institutions. These schools would include the liberal arts colleges, satellite state schools, and private universities with a total student body of less than 15,000. However, each adviser must consider his/her purview to determine whether he/she fits the category. Advisers who work with small programs (such as honors programs) within a larger university may consider themselves part of a “small institution”. Perhaps a school might have a large student body but is not an R1 institution, so these universities might not feel like large schools. Attendees are encouraged to self-define in terms of fitting the category.

New Advisor Workshop
Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa
July 14-15, 2014

NAFA’s annual workshop for new advisors will be held in Des Moines, Iowa this year. Featuring a number of veteran advisors from across the Midwest, foundation representatives from across the country, and a discussion with student applicants, this day-and-a-half workshop will cover all of the basics of scholarship advising and starting a scholarship office. Probable topics of discussion include establishing an annual cycle of scholarship advising, various models of scholarship advising, publicity and recruitment, advising the writing of personal statements, coaching effective interview techniques, preparing letters of nomination, assessment and evaluation of our work, and a discussion of the ethics of scholarship advising.


2012 Workshops

A Holistic Approach to Fellowships Advising
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
June 28-29, 2012

This workshop will focus on how we use the fellowships advising/application process as part of the educational process. Participants will share their strategies for helping students benefit from the fellowship process even if, as in most cases, they are not awarded a scholarship.
Developing Expertise: NAFA Workshop and Resources for New and Seasoned Advisors
Bechtel International Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California
July 19-20, 2012

The West Coast NAFA Summer Workshop will provide new advisors with strategies and resources for establishing or expanding a fellowships office, preparing for the annual ‘fellowship cycles.’ and working with applicants, finalists and campus selection committees. Several foundation representatives will provide insight into their evaluation criteria and fellowship recipients will share their experiences as applicants. New and seasoned advisors will benefit from sessions on developing fellowship websites, facilitating student writing, writing endorsement letters, articulating program success, and ethics.
Reaching Out and Digging in: Workshop for Fellowships Advisors
Earl Mack School of Law, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
July 12-13, 2012

This workshop will offer sessions focused on how advisors can identify and organize outreach to talented students, especially students who do not fit the traditional fellowships profile. The workshop will also include discussions of the range of methods of developing skills (effective writing, public speaking, interviewing, networking), along with the ethical dimensions of such methods. We would also like to include information about fellowships that are especially welcoming of or that specifically target applicants from diverse backgrounds.


2010 Workshops

Beginning with Confidence: A Summer Workshop for New Advisors
University of Arizona -- Tucson, Arizona
May 21-22, 2010

This workshop, best suited for new and relatively new advisors, will focus on the necessary ingredients for a thriving scholarship office, including: Understanding the role of a fellowship advisor and developing the most relevant nuts-and-bolts skills. Managing the pace and flow of scholarship advisement. Working effectively with faculty, administrators and other campus partners. Building strong external relationships with foundations and NAFA colleagues.

High Tech/Low Tech: Strategies for Identifying, Recruiting, and Keeping Track of Fellowship Applicants
DePauw University -- Greencastle, Indiana
July 22-23, 2010

Sometimes simply finding and then keeping an eye on scholarship candidates through weeks, months, and years can be a daunting task. The workshop will focus on a range of best practices, from very simple (but perhaps not obvious) person-to-person communication and paper record-keeping to approaches involving social networking, databases, and other "high tech" and online devices.

Words of Wisdom: A Writing Workshop for Fellowship Advisors
Ursinus College -- Collegeville, Pennsylvania
July 29-30, 2010

This workshop will offer sessions focused on how advisors can help award applicants with their writing during the application process and how advisors can improve their own writing. Time will be built into the schedule to afford participants the opportunity for personal reflection and writing – to translate what they have learned in the workshop sessions into practical approaches on their campus.


2008 Workshops

NAFA offered three workshops this summer with advice from and for scholarship advisors. One workshop was designed for new advisors, and the two other workshops offered sessions for more experienced scholarship and fellowship advisors. Each were a day and a half.  Descriptions of these workshops are below for the Arkansas, Oregon and New York workshops and have basic information.

Getting It Right: A Workshop for New Advisors
University of Arkansas -- Fayetteville, Arkansas
July 21-22, 2008

This workshops for new (and relatively new) advisors will provide strategies for engaging faculty, garnering support from the upper administration, and involving high achieving students in the nationally competitive scholarship process. Representatives from Truman, Udall, and NSEP will be on hand to provide information about their programs and about their selection processes. Veteran advisors will provide sessions on best practices as well as working with faculty on letters of recommendation, dealing with successes and failures, and special programs on campus that support our efforts, such as short courses, writing workshops, etc.

Supporting the Work We Do
Williamette University
-- Salem, Oregon
July 23-24, 2008

This workshop will deal with the components of a fellowship office, working with faculty on letters of recommendation, dealing with successes and failures, and special programs on campus that support our efforts, such as short courses, writing workshops, etc.

Goals include building time into the sessions for us to talk to each other and formulate concrete action plans so that we can put all of that energy and motivation into action quickly when we return to our offices; and exploring the role and efficacy of mentoring in all of our processes.

Best Practices for Campus Collaboration in Fellowship Advising
SUNY at Buffalo -- Buffalo, New York
July 31 and August 1, 2008

The workshop will offer sessions focused on how to engage students, administrators and faculty in the identification, recruitment and mentoring processes critical to fellowship and scholarship advisement. The workshop will follow the general format listed below, though topics may be modified and others may be added.

  • How to Collaborate on Campus with Administrators, Faculty and Students to Influence Recruitment Practices
  • 'Best Practices' in Fellowship and Scholarship advising followed by breakout session
  • Recruitment and outreach with the Graduate student/alumni population
  • Collaboration in Mentoring and Preparing Students


2006 Workshops

A Workshop for New Advisors
University of Nebraska-Lincoln -- Lincoln, Nebraska

July 20-21, 2006

This workshop is intended for higher education administrators and faculty who assist college-level students with applications for an array of nationally competitive, merit-based scholarships (such as the Fulbright, the Rhodes, the Truman, and the Goldwater). This workshop, sponsored by the National Association of Fellowship Advisors (NAFA), is specifically designed for new scholarship advisors. The following topics will be covered: setting up and maintaining a scholarship office, soliciting administrative support, identifying and working with students on the scholarship process. In addition to the topics listed above, there are also tentative plans for Walter Jackson, Program Manager for the Fulbright Scholarship, to conduct an optional pre-conference Fulbright Workshop on Thursday morning, July 20.

Assessment and Professional Development for Advisors
University of North Florida
-- Facksonville, Florida
August 7-8, 2006

The focus of the sessions will be on the professional development of advisors including the mechanisms and role of assessment, professional growth, and balancing multiple duties. Experienced fellowship advisors know the ins and outs of the major scholarship competitions but still grapple with the more subtle questions of fellowship advising. How much help is too much help? Is there too much emphasis on winning? How do we encourage a student without building up unreasonable expectations? How do we keep ourselves fresh and avoid burning out? How do we work with academic administrators so that they understand our value to the university without expecting winners every year? These are the types of questions that we will address in the sessions and continue to discuss as we walk along the beach!


2004 Workshops

NAFA Regional Workshops

University of Pugent Sound -- Tacoma, Washington
June 19-20, 2004

Emory University -- Atlanta, Georgia
July 8-9, 2004

University of Missouri -- Kansas City, Missouri
July 29-30, 2004

This summer, NAFA will not host one large conference, but three one day workshops. Our goal is to provide the same high quality resources and information that you find at NAFA conferences, with a focus on the details of scholarship advising. While these workshops will not offer the half hour sessions from foundations that the large conferences offer, foundation representatives, readers and interviewers are likely to be present in the panels, presentations and discussions on the topics listed below. Each workshop will follow the general format listed below, though topics may be modified and others may be added. Presenters on each topic in each region are encouraged to communicate and share materials with presenters in other regions.
A. Resources for new advisors
B. Strategies for Recruiting and Preparing candidates
C. The personal statement: providing advice/guidance
D. "The aftermath": working with students after the results are announced.
E. Legal issues with FERPA and HIPPA
F. Dessert and coffee buffet with roundtable discussions with foundation representatives
G. Letters of recommendation
H. Letters of endorsement
I. Interviews: Advice from members of selection committees


2002 Workshop

National Fellowships and the Successful Advisor: Introduction and Overview
National Association of Fellowships Advisors and Willamette University Regional Conference 
Portland, Oregon, June 28-29, 2002

A regional conference hosted by Willamette University and the National Association of Fellowships Advisors, June 28 & 29 in Portland, Oregon.  Conference sessions focused on identifying, recruiting and preparing applicants for prestigious scholarships such as the Rhodes, Truman and Udall, and on the “nuts and bolts” of scholarships advising—personal statements, letters of recommendation, and interviews. An evening “round table” session provided opportunities to chat informally with foundation representatives. Through exchanging materials, information and strategies, it provided support and encourage each other, both new and veteran advisors.