Award Opportunities in Politics

The Department of Politics awards a number of fellowships and prizes each year. Fellowship opportunities are open to alums. These fellowships and prizes each require an application as specified.


The fellowships are awarded to alums and students who are candidates for a degree from Mount Holyoke, with majors in Politics or International Relations. Former applicants, including recipients, may reapply. Recipients who decide to defer enrollment in graduate school can defer acceptance of an award for up to one year. In such cases, the individual must be enrolling in the same program for which they were awarded a fellowship to attend.

To apply, submit the following materials to Linda Chesky Fernandes in a single email:

• Proposed plan of study (2 pages max)
• Applicant’s cv or resume
• Official transcript of undergraduate and, where appropriate, graduate study
• Please also arrange two letters of recommendation to be sent to Linda Chesky Fernandes by the deadline.

The Ruth C. Lawson Fellowship was established in 1976 by colleagues, students, and friends of Miss Lawson.

Award: Up to $10,000 for advanced study in international politics. The number of fellowships—and amount—may vary, depending on the applicant pool.

The Ellen Deborah Ellis Fellowship in International Relations was established in 1944 by students and friends of Miss Ellis.

Award: Up to $4,000, preferably for graduate study in international relations.

The Donald G. Morgan Fellowship was established in 1976 by colleagues, students, and friends of Mr. Morgan.

Award: Up to $1,500, preferably for attending law school.

In the event that no award is made for law school in a given year, an award may be made for graduate study in political science involving a special interest in the theory, development, values, and adaptability of the U.S. Constitution.


Graduating seniors are welcome to apply for these prizes. 

The Libby Rosenfeld Himelstein Prize ($500) is awarded to the graduating senior Politics major who, in the judgment of the Department, submits the best essay in the field of Politics.

There is no restriction on the form this essay may takeStudents may submit (or faculty may nominate) essays written for the competition, as independent work, or as papers prepared for courses in the Department. Senior theses, however, are ineligible. Essays will be judged by the usual criteria of excellence in research, argument, and expression. To apply, submit your essay to Linda Chesky Fernandes (

The prize is awarded in the memory of Libby Rosenfeld Himelstein, a political science major in the class of 1954, who believed strongly in the tradition of graduates like Frances Perkins, who used their political skills for humanitarian ends. Libby Rosenfeld began her career working on elections law for the state of Connecticut, married a professor of English at Adelphi University, raised two sons who became physicians, did extensive volunteer work, and ended her career as a vice president and taxation expert for Prudential Securities, where she was known for her rock-ribbed integrity. An endowment to support this prize has been donated by her husband, sons, and brother.

Contact Us

The Department of Politics strives to help students become informed citizens who think critically about the important issues of our time.

Linda Chesky Fernandes
  • Academic Department Coordinator