Graduate students get an enormous boost
“This was more than financial help. It was an affirmation that what I do is important.”
One of the most widely felt successes of The Campaign for Berkeley has been the tremendous increase in graduate student support. Endowed fellowships jumped 84 percent during the campaign, dramatically boosting the university’s ability to recruit the very best students.
For Yael Segalovitz, a native of Israel with a passion for both Brazilian and Hebrew literature — particularly where the two fields intersect — one such fellowship made pursuing her Ph.D. possible.
In spring of 2012, on the verge of earning her master’s degree in comparative literature and struggling to make ends meet, Segalovitz began to question her ambition for a doctorate. “I made up my mind that if I wouldn’t be able to receive a full scholarship for my Ph.D. studies, then maybe I didn’t have a future in the humanities,” she recalls.
Her answer came in the form of a prestigious Regents’ Intern Fellowship at Berkeley. Funded in part by a generous gift from the Irving and Helen Betz Foundation, the fellowship would guarantee Segalovitz five years of funding. “This was more than financial help,” Segalovitz says. “ It was an affirmation that what I do is important.”
Dr. Nancy Ras, the daughter of Irving and Helen Betz, feels humbled by the gratitude of Segalovitz and other students who have benefitted from her family’s support. “This shows our contributions are being utilized well,” she says.