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The University at Buffalo has created a new position to support exceptional students and help them become more competitive in their efforts to land Fulbright Student Grants, Rhodes Scholarships and other prestigious awards.

The university’s Office of Undergraduate Education has appointed Elizabeth Colucci as coordinator of nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships. The job will include helping students write scholarship applications and building programs that raise the number of UB undergraduate and graduate national award winners.

“We want to find students with a spark of something special so they can learn about fellowships and scholarships early in their career,” Colucci said. “If they can make wise choices about how to spend their summers and become more competitive, our students can put themselves in strong positions to apply.”

This past academic year, for the first time in 25 years, a UB student received a Marshall Scholarship.

With the Marshall award, Phillip Tucciarone will study materials science, doing graphene research, at the University of Oxford.

Tucciarone graduated from UB in May with a bachelor’s degree in chemical and biological engineering.

Tucciarone earned a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in 2013. The university also had a Goldwater winner and two National Science Foundation fellowship winners this past academic year.

Colucci, formerly assistant director of the university’s Honors College, will continue to run the Spark Program, a six-week seminar that prepares freshman to apply for academic awards. During the spring, Colucci also will offer a Fulbright development program and NSF graduate fellowship development program for juniors to increase the number of students who apply for each award. Workshops will be available to incoming graduate students as well.