The Wurzel Family Graduate Fellowship is one of the first to be established in the School, originally by UC Berkeley alumna and lifelong donor Lillian Wurzel. Ms. Wurzel, whose generosity to the School of Social Welfare spans seven decades, passed away at the age of 100 in March 2013. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1934 with a credential in social welfare, years before the campus formally offered degree programs in the subject.
In 1942, she established the Joseph and Mary Wurzel Loan Fund in honor of her parents. In a letter to then-campus president Robert Gordon Sproul, Wurzel wrote, "I am happy to forward the enclosed check for one hundred dollars to you to establish a loan fund for graduate students in the School of Social Welfare. I have thought of establishing this fund for some time and know from conversations with Dr. Cassidy and other members of the faculty of the School that it is something which is badly needed." Wurzel continued to donate to the fund, which grew to such a surplus that by the mid-1980s School of Social Welfare Dean Harry Specht recommended to the campus that the program be converted from a loan to a fellowship fund, which it officially became in 1991.
After she completed her credential at UC Berkeley, Lillian Wurzel went on to earn her MSW at the University of Chicago. She served as a Red Cross field director during World War II and received a commendation from President Truman. She had a 65-year career as a medical social worker serving at the Contra Costa County Hospital and the Santa Clara County Social Services Department.
Wurzel Fellowships are awarded with a preference for students interested in careers in public welfare, public health or medical care programs.
2021-22 Wurzel Family Graduate Fellowship Awards
For the 2021-22 academic year, the Wurzel Family Graduate Fellowship will provide a total of $7,500 in financial support, consisting of:
- A $6,000 credit towards payment of tuition and fees ($3,000 each semester for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022).
- A $1,500 cash stipend ($750 each semester for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022).
Preference for this award may be given to students who have not received as much funding from the department as other students in the department.
Awards will be announced by June 1, 2021.
To be eligible to apply for this fellowship, students must meet all of the following requirements:
- Must be a current MSW student in good academic standing and continuing in the 2021-22 academic year.
- Must demonstrate evidence of current, previous or anticipated experience oriented to public service as a social worker in a public social welfare, public health, or medical care program. You will be asked to upload a current résumé/CV to the online fellowship application form.
How to Apply
Complete the online 2021-22 Social Welfare Departmental Graduate Fellowship Application (Google Form) by 5:00 p.m. on the application deadline. No late applications will be accepted or considered.
Friday, May 14, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time)
- You must be signed into your @berkeley.edu email address to access the online application form.
- This fellowship application requires an applicant Statement of Interest and Need:
Please upload to your online application form a brief statement (no more than three (3) typed, double-spaced pages; Document or PDF file formats only) describing:
- your personal and professional interests in and experiences with serving disadvantaged or marginalized individuals and communities in public social welfare, public health, or medical care program settings;
- your anticipated career goals and contributions you hope to make through a career in public service-oriented social work; and,
- any unique financial situations and/or hardships that may help us better understand your financial need. Any information provided will be used only for SSW fellowship consideration.
- This fellowship application requires a current résumé/CV:
Please upload a Document or PDF file of your current résumé or Curriculum Vitae to the online application form.