Rutman Leadership Fellows

Three images of Rutman Fellows students and a ropes course activity.

Fueling the pipeline of future women leaders in business

The Rutman/Och Advancing Women’s Leadership Initiative was created to educate high-performing young leaders who are committed to advancing women’s leadership in business and economics. It was created in 2018 with a $1.7 million investment from alumnus J. Morgan Rutman ‘84, his wife Tara Rutman, and the Och Family Foundation.

Our goal is to graduate more students who value gender diversity and have the aspiration, knowledge, skills, and opportunities needed to pursue successful and meaningful careers, ascend into leadership roles in their organizations, and promote women’s leadership in their workplaces.

Eligible first-year students of all genders are invited to apply for the program, which begins sophomore year, in early spring. Please read below for other eligibility requirements.

Veronika Cryer
Program Coordinator
Dedicated Academic Advisor

The next round of applications for Rutman Fellows will occur in February 2024 for the Class of 2027.

  • Peer network: 12-15 students will progress together through their remaining three years in Paul College, engaging in a variety of high impact initiatives. This includes but is not limited to: lean in circles, networking, professional development, an academic course, and a leadership project.
  • Scholarship: $3,000 per year for three years; $9,000 total per student
  • Allyship: Inspire, cultivate, and prepare students of all genders to serve as allies in advancing women as leaders in their organizations at UNH and beyond
  • Mentorship: Receive guidance, advice, and access to professional networks from alumni and industry leaders, as well as upperclass Rutman fellows
  • Internship and Job Preparedness: Strong connections with Career and Professionals Success (CAPS), including an Internship Opportunity Fund stipend of $2,500 to supplement a junior summer internship
  • Rising sophomore with a first year cumulative GPA of a 3.3 or higher
  • Strong application, with a supplemental interview, that clearly states interest in gender equity and women's leadership
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty or staff member
  • Demonstrated leadership experience, ambition, and a genuine interest in and commitment to the advancement of women in business and economics

These are minimum criteria to be considered for the Rutman Fellows Scholarship. Meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee an award as the pool of applicants is competitive and the number of scholarships limited.

Students who are enrolled in the Paul Scholars Program are not eligible to apply for the Rutman Fellows Program.

Participants in this program will:

  • Identify the impact gender has on leadership
  • Gain skills to successfully navigate the impact gender has on leadership
  • Understand and utilize the 5 themes from Kouzes and Posner’s “The Leadership Challenge”
  • Be empowered to take on leadership roles 
    •  while attending UNH/Paul College 
    • in the work force and community
  • Understand how to gain and leverage male allies in the advancement of women’s leadership
  • Understand the importance of intersectionality (race, sexuality, ability, etc.) with gender and leadership
  • Participate in at least two high impact educational practices during each academic year
  • Gain/improve at least two “soft skills” that employers look for when hiring interns/employees

Three Years of High-Impact Educational Practices Preparing Them to LEAD


(Deepening Understanding)


(Networking & Mentoring)


(Closing the Gender Gap)


(Building Competencies)



Knowledge Acquisition

Early Arrival Program * Lean-In Circle * Women’s Leadership BIP course Peer Mentoring


In the first year, students will develop a foundational understanding of gender equity issues and women’s leadership through several learning communities and seminars. This learning will begin prior to the start of the fall semester in their Early Arrival Program and will continue to develop throughout the fall in their weekly Lean-In Circle cohort meetings.

In the spring, they’ll dive deeper into these concepts and conversations through their Business in Practice (BIP) course, “Women’s Leadership in the 21st Century.” They will learn from fellow junior and senior class Rutman Fellows as they engage with them as mentees in peer mentoring circles.



Knowledge Sharing

Rutman Roundtable * Internship * Boston Networking Event Alumni Mentoring * Peer Mentoring * Cohort Recruitment


In the second year, students will share the valuable lessons they have learned on the topics of leadership, gender equity, and diversity through authorship of the LinkedIn blog series, “The Rutman Roundtable.” They will be offered the Internship Opportunity Fund to financially support them as they begin exercising their leadership skills through an internship of choice.

Mentoring will serve as a strong component of the junior year, as students will hold the dual roles of mentors to sophomore level fellows, and as mentees to alumni/industry mentors. They will play a critical role in planning and leading initiatives to promote the Rutman Fellows program and to recruit prospective students into the incoming sophomore cohort of Rutman Fellows.



Knowledge Application

Senior Project* Leadership conference with the Dean * Alumni Mentoring * Peer Mentoring * Cohort Recruitment


In the third year, students will apply their knowledge and skills in a culminating senior capstone, creating and leading a significant project that promotes gender equity and advances women’s leadership. They will engage in further leadership development and professional networking as leadership conference attendees with the Paul College Dean.

As the most experienced of the cohorts, senior-level students will serve a significant mentoring role to the sophomore and junior fellows in their assigned mentorship circles. They will also have the opportunity to leverage the knowledge and experience of their alumni/industry mentors as they prepare for post-graduate success.

The Rutman 2023 cohort has a teambuilding session with Paul College's deans.


sophia koziell headshot

"Being a part of the Rutman Fellowship has been one of the highlights of my time at the University of New Hampshire. This program has allowed me to find my voice and become a strong advocate for gender equity, thanks to the support of faculty and fellow students. I am grateful for the relationships I have made through this program and the confidence I have gained in my leadership abilities."

- Sophia Koziell '23