Director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards
Suzanne McCray serves as the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and the Director of Nationally Competitive Awards. As the director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, she has advised hundreds of University of Arkansas students concerning scholarship and graduate school applications. For three years, she served on the national program review committee for the Coca-Cola Scholarship, and she is currently serving a tenth year on the national selection committee for the Stewart L. and Morris K. Udall Scholarship review and her third on the Critical Language Scholarship review. Dr. McCray has been an active member of the National Association of Fellowships Advisors as well, serving as its president from 2003-2005. She has edited six volumes of essays on the topic of nationally competitive scholarships. The most recent include All Before Them: Student Opportunities and Nationally Competitive Fellowships (2015) and Road Less Traveled and other Perspectives on Nationally Competitive Scholarships (2017). She holds more than 300 meetings a year with students applying for scholarships, serves on a variety of campus scholarship committees, and is a member of the premed advisory committee. She earned bachelor’s (high honors) and masters’s degrees in English from the University of Arkansas and a PhD in English from the University of Tennessee.
Associate Director of Nationally Competitive Awards
Emily Wright serves as Associate Director for the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. She advises students who are applying for scholarships and fellowships to support research initiatives and graduate education. Wright also serves as the Associate Director of the Advanced Placement Summer Institute, hosted by the University of Arkansas each summer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Arkansas and a Masters of Arts in International Affairs from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to joining ONCA, Wright worked in cross-cultural and higher education in Washington, DC.
Graduate Assistant for the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards
Hannah Carothers serves as the graduate assistant for the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. She supports students throughout their application process by reviewing applications, answering questions, giving advice, and even offering a listening ear when needed. Carothers is also responsible for helping ONCA run efficiently on a day-to-day basis by providing general office support. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2021. During her undergraduate studies, Carothers performed her honors research and wrote her honors thesis on Stroop interference in foreign languages with the support of Dr. Bill Levine in the Psychology department. Currently, she is back at the University of Arkansas to pursue her Master of Science in Counseling with a focus on Mental Health Counseling.
Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarship Advising
Monique Bourque is a historian specializing in the institutionalization of the poor in America’s early republic, and in the history of nature as a social and political metaphor/model for human behavior. She has served as director of the fellowships and awards office at Swarthmore College, and director of student academic grants and awards at Willamette University. She is currently a training and development specialist with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office of Small Business Assistance.
Courtney Hill graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a minor in sustainability. In 2014, she taught English at a magnet high school in South Korea through a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of Virginia, where she investigates the relationship between human health and access to silver embedded ceramics as well as other mechanisms by which silver can be used to treat water in low income areas. Her graduate work is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellowship. In 2018, she was named a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences. Previously, Courtney has has served as an advisor for the Center for Undergraduate Excellence working with students who apply for nationally competitive awards at the University of Virginia.
Danielle Neighbour is a Foreign Affairs Officer with the U.S. Department of State, where she serves in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) covering transboundary water governance in East and Southeast Asia. Previously, she was a Schwarzman Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum, where she researched wastewater and water policy in the United States and China. She holds a Master's of Global Affairs from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and Spanish minor from the University of Arkansas. Danielle is a Presidential Management Fellow, Schwarzman Scholar, and Truman Scholar.
Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarship Advising
Elizabeth Vardaman is an associate dean emeritus from the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University. An exchange professor in China and assistant director for several Baylor abroad programs in England and the Netherlands, she has extensively traveled on behalf of the university and led the first NAFA tour of British higher education. Her overview of that trip, “Keys to the United Kingdom,” is published in Beyond Winning: National Scholarship Competitions and the Student Experience. She also authored “Coin of the Realm: Graduate Education in Britain,” published in Nationally Competitive Scholarships: Serving Students and the Public Good. She served as a scholarship advisor from 1998-2020 as well as the Fulbright Program Advisor for many years.
Mariel Young graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in anthropology and Spanish. In 2014, she earned an MPhil in Human Evolutionary Studies from Cambridge, where she was supported by a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, where she studies evolutionary and developmental genetics of embryonic bone growth. She also serves as a pedagogy fellow and works in science outreach for Harvard’s teaching and learning center.