Support Students Who Change the World

Graduate students at Berkeley are fearless adventurers, pushing the boundaries of what we know about our world.

Read below to learn what sparks the imaginations of our talented students and inspires their groundbreaking research, and how critical fellowship funding propels their success.

Want to hear their stories in their own words? Enjoy winning videos from our Distinguished Fellows Video Contest where students describe how vital fellowship support is helping chart new paths in graduate research at Berkeley.

“Donors who give to fellowship funds at Berkeley invest in an incredible talent pool of students, many of whom inevitably go on to employ their talents for the greater good.”

Lisa Garcia Bedolla standing on the steps of Sproul Hall
Lisa García BedollaVice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division

Featured Fellows

Gabriela Cazares headshot

Gabriela Cazares, Chemistry

The Chun and Wai Sim Ma Endowed Fund for Graduate Fellowships

Although starting a Ph.D. during the pandemic was difficult, Gabriela Cazares was lucky enough to have a solid group of friends, mentors and colleagues to get through it. After her experience teaching a general chemistry lab, Gabriela realized her love of teaching and aims to become a Chemistry professor while continuing to investigate the effects of climate change in the atmosphere. Through the Chun and Wai Sim Ma Endowed Fund for Graduate Fellowships, Gabriela was not only able to fulfill her research, but she also discovered a new passion along the way. 

Read more about Gabriela

Kendall Calhoun

Kendall Calhoun, Environmental Science, Policy, & Management

Chancellor's Fellow

Kendall Calhoun conducts field research with the goal of creating more resilient habitats and ecosystems. Like many outstanding Berkeley graduate students, his work helps to drive research excellence and inspires undergraduates, opening their minds to greater possibilities.

See Kendall Calhoun in action

Sibahle Ndwayana headshot

Sibahle Ndwayana, Human Geography

The Dick and Beany Wezelman African Graduate Fellowship

When Sibahle told his mom and brother that he got into UC Berkeley, they were both excited at the prospect of him continuing his education at the highest level. The Dick and Beany Wezelman African Graduate Fellowship not only made it financially possible for him to attend Cal, it made it possible for him to change his family history – Sibahle is the first one in his family to pursue this type of educational opportunity.  A member of the Berkeley Black Geography initiative, Sibahle is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Geography with an interest in sonic analyses of Black geographies. This fellowship has allowed Sibahle to pursue an academic journey that is full of discovery, research and global impact. 

Read more about Sibahle

Sarah Lee headshot

Sarah Lee, Political Science

The Helen Gan and Richard Aston Fellowship

Sarah Lee is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Berkeley. Her research explores the relationship between politics and religion as seen in the contexts of comparative politics and international relations. As part of her research, Sarah completed three years of fieldwork in fifteen Chinese cities from 2016 to 2019, resulting in her work being published in The Journal of Contemporary China and supported by the National Science Foundation and the Global Religion Research Initiative. It is through generous donations that Sarah is able to conduct meaningful research. 

Read more about Sarah

Wilson McNeil headshot

Wilson McNeil, Civil & Environmental Engineering

The Chun and Wai Sim Ma Endowed Fund for Graduate Fellowships

Growing up in a small town in West Virginia, Wilson McNeil would never have imagined earning a degree from UC Berkeley. After completing his Master’s degree, Wilson’s dream was to pursue a Ph.D. and work as a research scientist to ensure a safe and sustainable future for the next generation. With the help of the incredibly supportive UC Berkeley faculty and generous donors, Wilson was able to make his dream a reality. In addition to an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Wilson also received an esteemed Fulbright scholarship to pursue his research project in New Zealand. These fellowships will allow Wilson to advance his studies at UC Berkeley and pursue incredible opportunities.

Read more about Wilson