Wilkes University

The Bierly Fellowship at Wilkes University

The Bierly Fellowship at Wilkes University offers experiential learning opportunities for undergraduates.

The award makes affordable for students a semester-long experience that includes internships, study away or study abroad trips, and undergraduate research.

  • The experience can be credit or non-credit bearing.
  • Awards can range from $500 to $5000.
  • Undergraduate students in any undergraduate major can receive a Bierly Fellowship one time - in their sophomore, junior or senior year.
  • Preference will be given to junior and senior students.
  • The funds awarded can be used for transportation, housing, or a bi-weekly stipend for expenses during the fellowship experience during a four-week to semester long program.
  • The award cannot be issued in cash, nor can it be used for Wilkes tuition or related fee expenses.

The Bierly Fellowship honors the late George W. Bierly. Mr. Bierly, a native of Wilkes-Barre, was a successful businessman and community leader. He graduated from Bucknell University Junior College in 1940, and earned his Bachelors degree in engineering from MIT in 1943. Mr. Bierly was a member of the US Army during WWII, serving in the European Theater. He was married to the late Betty Kanarr and they lived in Spring Valley, PA. Mr. Bierly was appointed as an instructor at Penn State /Wilkes-Barre in 1947, as administrative head in 1948, and eventually was named the Director of Campus in 1959. He retired in 1980. His community affiliations included the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, the United Way and the Westmoreland Club.

Successful candidate’s profile:

The University seeks candidates for the Bierly Fellowship who are eager to perform quality work outside of the campus community in their field of study. The Fellowship can be a cooperative education or internship experience, an international or domestic study-away experience or an undergraduate research experience away from Wilkes. This fellowship award is to benefit one student and cannot be used to fund more than one person, such as an entire group trip associated with a course. There will be an application and selection process in the fall and spring of each year. Deadlines will be September 30, for the spring semester, and February 1, for the summer term and fall semester. The committee will make their decision, within 30 days of the application deadline.

Bierly Fellows will meet the following criteria:

  • the student must be enrolled at the University as a full time undergraduate - in good academic and disciplinary standing;
  • the student must have proof of proper health insurance and travel documentation;
  • the student must have a minimum 3.0 CGPA at the time of application;
  • the student experience must be a minimum of four weeks in length; but can also be an entire semester.
  • the student must live and work in a site where they can network with mentors and peers; and
  • the experience is expected to develop or enhance current leadership skills and help build a diverse professional network.
Student responsibilities will include:
  • meeting the criteria outlined in the Fellowship;
  • working with University faculty and staff to locate an experience that aligns with career goals;
  • creating a detailed budget for the trip; and
  • securing academic advisor approval.

The application packet will include:

  1. a resume’,
  2. an official Wilkes transcript,
  3. a personal statement of 250 words or less,
  4. and a letter of recommendation from your academic advisor AND a different member of the Wilkes faculty.

Application materials are to be submitted to the committee chair, Sharon Castano, Director of Internships, by the dates indicated above.

Download Application Packet


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