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Vera Joseph Scholarship Program

The Vera Joseph Scholarship Program offers scholarships to academically talented students in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, and inter-disciplinary majors among these subjects. This is the first year of the five-year program, funded by the National Science Foundation's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) division. The primary aims of the program are two-fold: To greatly reduce the financial stress of a college education and to build a cohort among scholars. In combination, the Vera Joseph Scholarships prevent attrition in the demanding scientific subjects and bolster our students' chances to pursue a future in their chosen field.

Scientific professions demand both knowledge and creative ability and Barnard's model of success is based on fortifying these in the transition from student to scientist. The program nurtures Scholars as a cohesive cohort through intensive mentoring and a series of workshops and events. Scholars will gain the skills and confidence they need to flourish in the classroom and beyond, as well as develop a community of peers vital to their continued success.

The program is named in honor of a Barnard Alumna, Vera Joseph. Vera Joseph attended Barnard on a scholarship, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1932. One of the first African-American graduates of Barnard, she went on to earn her graduate degree in medicine at the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University in 1936 and worked at Smith College in her later career. Vera Joseph's accomplishments, particularly in the context of 1930's culture, are an inspiration and we're honored to pay tribute to her in this way.

Program Director: Associate Prof. Janna Levin

Program Coordinator: Bill Carrasco (wcarrasc@barnard.edu)

Vera Joseph Scholarship (VJS) Details

  • Each year, 5 first year students will be selected to join the Vera Joseph cohort
  • Each year, 5 rising juniors will be selected to join the Vera Joseph cohort.
  • The VJS will replace the work-study and loan components of the financial-aid package
  • The VJS will provide 4 to 6 workshops per year

Eligibility Criteria

First Years

  • Declared interest in at least one STEM field (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, Mathematics) in their application to Barnard
  • GPA above 3.2
  • Work-study and loan components in financial-aid package

Rising Juniors

  • Declared STEM Major (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, Mathematics), or an interdisciplinary combination of STEM fields
  • GPA above 3.2
  • Work-study and loan components in financial-aid package

NOTE: The Scholarship is not intended for pre-medical studies

Scholarship Conditions

First-year Vera Joseph Scholars will automatically maintain their scholarship in their second year provided they:

  • maintain a GPA above 3.2
  • participate in VJS workshops
  • enroll in science and math courses
  • require financial aid

If a student held a VJS in her first and second years, she is eligible in her junior year, but she is not guaranteed a scholarship. Scholars will be selected from all eligible rising Juniors.
 
Juniors who receive a Vera Joseph Scholars will automatically maintain their scholarship in their senior year provided they:

  • maintain a GPA above 3.2
  • participate in VJS workshops
  • enroll in science and math courses
  • require financial aid

Application procedure

  • There is no explicit application procedure. Instead, after eligibility is determined by the selection committee, eligible students may be invited to apply.
  • Eligibility is determined on the basis of demonstrated financial need, GPA, and level of interest in science and math. Rising Juniors must have declared a STEM major (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, Mathematics), or an interdisciplinary combination of STEM fields.
  • Newly admitted students to Barnard will be contacted if their application to Barnard indicates they meet eligibility requirements. Juniors will be contacted and asked to provide a brief statement of interest after financial-aid packages are finalized sometime mid-summer.

If you have any questions about the VJS, please feel welcome to contact the program director, Prof. Janna Levin (jlevin@barnard.edu) or the program coordinator, Bill Carrasco (wcarrasc@barnard.edu).