Four UNH students receive competitive DoD scholarship

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

UNH has once again had a strong showing in the competition for Science, Math and Research for Transformation (SMART) scholarships.

Four undergraduates from the UNH College of Engineering and Physical Sciences won SMART scholarships: Katelyn Wentworth ’19, Cody Best ’20, Olivia Edson ’20 and Silas Johnson ’20. Department of Defense (DoD) SMART scholarships include full tuition and related fees at the university or college where the recipient is enrolled, a $25,000 to $38,000 annual living stipend, a health insurance allowance, paid summer research internships and paid employment placement at a DoD facility after graduation. The program's goal is to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers at DoD facilities.

UNH student Katelyn Wentworth
Katelyn Wentworth '19

Katelyn Wentworth, a chemistry major from Tewksbury, Massachusetts, received her SMART placement at the Army Public Health Center (APHC) in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. “I applied for SMART because it seemed like a great opportunity to apply my chemistry knowledge in a way that would help the greater good,” she explains. “Both of my grandparents were in the military, one in the Army and one in the Air Force. I wanted to give back and honor them in any way that I could.”

She chose APHC for her placement after they reached out to her, she explains. “I was very interested in the work that is performed there … I would love to see if this is a career that I would like to stick with and if industry is the place I enjoy working in. If it is, I would love to stay at the AHPC,” she says, adding, “I hope to gain experience from my job at the AHPC in the chemistry industry field and meet people who share my passion.”

At UNH, Wentworth is a member the executive board of Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity, and is also part of an organic chemistry research group. She has received several scholarships from the chemistry department and CEPS as well as UNH’s Presidential Merit Scholarship. 

UNH student Cody Best
Cody Best ‘20

Cody Best is a mechanical engineering major from Springfield, New Hampshire, whose SMART placement is at the Cold Regions Research and Exploration Lab in Hanover, New Hampshire. He applied for a SMART scholarship in the hope of being able to focus on school without financial worries, as the scholarship covers tuition and fees while also providing a stipend. “I hope to gain some research experience in engineering and a job right out of college,” Best says.

Best chose his SMART site “because it performs a lot of interdisciplinary research and because they have a focus in cold regions research, which interested me,” he explains.

He is also part of the University Honors Program at UNH.

Olivia Edson is an electrical engineering major from Gilford, New Hampshire, whose SMART placement is at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.

UNH student Olivia Edson
Olivia Edson '20

Edson applied for the SMART scholarship “because every aspect of it is incredibly beneficial to my future,” she says, adding, “It's a huge opportunity. I wanted a job where I would feel as though I do something that matters, and I think that's exactly what this scholarship is giving me.”

She chose the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to remain close to home. “I love New Hampshire, and I am hoping to stay close after graduation. For that reason, the shipyard was perfect for me … I hope to stay after completing the fellowship,” she says.

At UNH, she is a member of the Red Cross.

UNH student Silas Johnson
Silas Johnson ‘20

Silas Johnson is a mechanical engineering major from Bedford, New Hampshire, who will work at the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in Huntsville, Alabama.

He applied to SMART in the hopes of jumpstarting his career and gaining experience in the aerospace sector.

“I chose the MDA in Huntsville because it will give me valuable experience in research and development as well as put me in a very active area of the aerospace industry,” Johnson says. “After the fellowship, I hope to go back to graduate school for aerospace engineering and eventually work in that industry. I think working at the MDA will give me valuable experience that will put me in the right direction towards those goals.”

On campus, Johnson is a member of UNH Students for the Exploration and Development of Space as well as the New Hampshire Outing Club.

Want to find out how to apply for fellowships and scholarships? Contact Jeanne Sokolowski at or 603-862-0733 or visit the Office of National Fellowships website.

Brooks Payette | College of Engineering and Physical Sciences