American Studies

Fellowships and Scholarships

American Studies majors are eligible for many different types of fellowships and scholarships. For undergraduate scholarship and fellowship opportunities, please see

The Office of Undergraduate Research offers a wealth of research opportunities for undergraduates in all majors. Please see:

The Adam Z. Rice Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Fund

Adam Z. Rice, 1993–2014, was an American Studies major in the College of Letters & Science at UC Berkeley. He died tragically from injuries sustained in a traffic accident while he was studying in England during the summer prior to his senior year. Adam was an engaged and passionate student of American popular culture. In his three years at UC Berkeley, he earned high honors in his major and had completed a record number of courses in the American Studies Program. His brilliance, intellectual curiosity, and unique gifts as a scholar, cultural analyst, and writer had a powerful effect on and inspired both his peers and his teachers.

Adam openly inhabited the commitment and interdisciplinary orientation and rigor that represents the American Studies Program at its best. Adam was a graduate of Rolling Hills Preparatory School in San Pedro, California, where he was the student body president. At graduation, he received the Marilyn Harper Meritorious Senior Award for American History and Government and the Margaret Nicholson Scholarship Award for Outstanding Promise in English, Citizenship, and Community Service. Adam was the third student in the school’s history to be honored as the recipient of both of these prestigious awards. He was a talented filmmaker, musician, composer, singer, dramatic and comedic actor, and writer who aspired to be a film director and editor. As a performer and teacher of improvisational comedy, he was an integral member of UC Berkeley’s student improv and sketch comedy group, jericho! His teammates described him as a true comedian who electrified the crowd with his fearless, physical, emotional, and quick-witted performances. He was a benevolent performer who always took care of his scene partners to ensure they did their best work. His passion for comedy inspired the other members of jericho! and challenged them to take risks. During Adam’s three years on jericho!, he wrote, directed, and acted in dozens of videos and sketches, becoming a favorite in the UC Berkeley comedy community.

Adam is remembered by his family and friends for his intellect, compassion, charisma, empathy, love, loyalty, creativity, and his uncanny ability to make them laugh. He made a difference in the lives of many and planned to continue impacting the world through his filmmaking, performance, and musical talents.

Candidates majoring in American Studies will be selected annually and will be known as Adam Z. Rice SURF Fellows.

To contribute to this fund, please see: