Hamel Scholars Program

Building the next generation of New Hampshire's leaders

  • Photo of Hamel Scholars with Dr. Eliga Gould
    Dr. Eliga Gould, an eminent historian of the early United States, offered a Constitution Day workshop on the history of our founding document. Each student went home with his or her own pocket Constitution.
  • Photo of Hamel Scholars doing ropes course activities
    The Hamel Scholars kicked off the 2017-2018 academic year with a day of outdoor leadership training at UNH's Browne Center .
  • Photo of students sorting medical supplies
    The Hamel Scholars joined Partners for World Health in Portland, Maine, to help provide medical supplies to needy people around the world.
  • Photo of Hamel Scholars at networking event
    Hamel Scholars traveled to Manchester for a networking event with UNH alumni who are prominent in New Hampshire business and politics.

About the Program

The Hamel Scholars Program was founded in 2007. It provides merit scholarships and special recognition to exceptional students from New Hampshire who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership, and community service.

Funded through gifts from Dana Hamel, a long-time UNH supporter, the programs seek to help students develop their full potential and become active, engaged leaders in communities throughout the state after graduating from UNH.

Hamel Scholar Crystal Napoli '18 discovered new worlds at UNH--and around the globe

Featured Scholars





Alana Gudinas 


Tejas Moses 


Jacob Baker 

For Alana Gudinas, studying exoplanets— planets that orbit stars outside of our solar system—is the best kind of research, on the edge of scientific discovery. The sophomore is majoring in physics, with a concentration in astronomy.

“I believe that physics is an area of study that will provide me with information about the world we live in (and maybe future worlds as well), and give me an opportunity to study the why’s and how’s of space, something we as a society know so little about,” says Gudinas.

She hopes to add some theatrics into her UNH academics before she graduates. “Acting is something I was involved in in high school. I think that acting in a play (or two) before I graduate will help me keep this interest alive,” she says.


 Tejas is interested in contributing to a community that lives off the land in a sustainable way, so UNH’s Sustainable Agriculture major is a perfect fit. “I want to have the skills and knowledge to foster a better relationship between people and the earth,” he says.

The Dublin native is passionate about designing and building tools and working on hands-on projects. “The best part is when the project is finished and I get to see how well it really work sand what I might do better next time.”

After college, Tejas hopes to be living in a house he helped build, on a piece of land with woods, fields, and streams nearby. As for his career, he hopes to be working outside every day in a job that is key to the well-being of his community.


Jacob, who hails from the Lakes Region, is studying computer engineering at UNH.

“Computer engineering explores topics in both hardware and software, and provides engineering experience through the firsthand design and testing of systems. It is the perfect balance of computer science and electrical engineering,” he explains.

His free time is usually spent programming and learning more about computer systems, but he also pursues other creative projects. “Through writing and drawing, I hope to keep my mind active and improve my art capabilities and design skills,” he says, adding that he hopes to combine his right-brain studies with his left-brain hobbies by designing and developing video games and creating graphic novels based on his own writings.

Upon graduating, Jacob plans to find a computer-related career that allows him to continue learning and exercising his skills.


Frequently Asked Questions

Students who apply to UNH by the Early Action deadline and who qualify for the University Honors Program are invited to apply for the Hamel Scholars Program. This invitation is usually sent in January. While most Hamel Scholars are chosen before matriculating at UNH, a small number of Juniors join the program each year. Members of the University Honors Program receive an invitation to apply for this and other scholarships in March.

The Hamel Program requires its scholars to attend three business meetings, two community service projects, and one leadership event per semester. The Hamel Scholar Program Coordinator will plan various leadership and community service events each semester that Hamel Scholars can use to fulfill these requirements. If a Hamel Scholar is unable to make a sufficient number of these events, it will be up to that individual to find and complete their own service or leadership project with other Hamel Scholars in the program. 

The Hamel Program also requires its scholars to maintain their position in the Honors Program. Along with the requirements above, Hamel Scholars must be actively working to fulfill their Honors Program requirements.


Awards within the program range from $2,000-$10,000 per year. 

New Hampshire residency is required for incoming freshmen who wish to apply to the Hamel program. However, the Hamel Program typically admits rising juniors each spring (the number of available spaces varies each year), and no in-state residency is required to be admitted through this process.