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Genelia Phillips Study Abroad Scholarship

Established in 2022, the Genelia Phillips Study Abroad Scholarship is the first endowed scholarship specifically intended for UC Merced students.


A longstanding member of the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees, Denise Watkins has served as a strong advocate for California’s youth, helping to create educational pathways to support the next generation of leaders. Denise credits her mother, Genelia Phillips, for her exposure to many different cultures through hosting study abroad students in her childhood home and encouraging Denise to study abroad herself. In honor of her mother, Denise has established the Genelia Phillips Study Abroad Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship will inspire, encourage, and support students to realize their dreams of pursuing education abroad.

Eligibility Criteria

Students must be continuing students at UC Merced participating in an approved UCEAP Study Abroad program for either the fall term, spring term or full academic year. They must be in good academic standing maintaining a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and must demonstrate financial need which is calculated by their FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application. Students must provide a response to the following three questions:

  1. What program have you selected for your study abroad program and what factors (personal, academic, professional, etc.) went into your decision to select this program?
  2. How does your chosen study abroad program connect to your educational goals while at UC Merced?
  3. How will this program serve you in reaching your long-term educational goals?

Start Spring 2024 Application