Prestigious academic grant awards abound for Whitman students

As of June 1, the list of fellowship, scholarship and grant recipients from Whitman College includes:

Morris K. Udall Scholarship

Three Whitman College students were selected to be Udall Scholars this year. They are Lisa Curtis '10, Elena Gustafson '10 and Camila Thorndike '10.

Whitman is the only college or university in the nation to garner three Udall awards in 2009, the foundation's most competitive year since its inception in 1996. 

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1992, the Udall Foundation honors Congressman Morris King Udall's 30-year legacy of public service. The Scholars Program focuses on issues of environment, natural resources, health care, public policy and resolution of environmental disputes. 

Thomas J. Watson Fellowship

Aisha Fukushima '09, a rhetoric and film studies major, is the only Watson Fellowship recipient this year from a Northwest school. With her $28,000 grant she will travel abroad for a year, studying the hip-hop cultures and worldviews of rap musicians through their lyrics in places such as Morocco, Senegal and South Africa.

The mission of the Watson Fellowship program is to offer college graduates of unusual promise a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel outside of the United States to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, openness and leadership, and to foster their humane and effective participation in the world community.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Corrine Gibbon '06, a history major during her years at Whitman, was awarded a Fulbright English teaching assistantship to Vietnam.

The Fulbright program is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries" by giving designees the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

Laura Sanchez ’07 and Chantal Stieber ’08 were awarded graduate research fellowships by the National Science Foundation. Both women were chemistry majors at Whitman.

Sanchez recently finished her second year at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she hopes her research will lead to a potential therapy for leishmaniasis, a tropical disease. Stieber, currently teaching English in China, will start at Cornell University in the fall and expects to pursue a research project that helps reduce the amount of toxic materials used in chemistry. 

Princeton in Asia Fellowship

Greg Eiselt '09, an Asian studies major, and Marty Skeels '09, an English major, won Princeton in Asia fellowships for 2009-10. Eiselt will work in China; Skeels will be stationed in Vietnam.

PiA is a nonprofit foundation committed to providing bright and motivated people with a vivid "Asian experience." PiA's mission is to foster cross-cultural understanding between Asians and Americans. The organization achieves this goal by providing young Americans with various opportunities to live and work in Asia.

Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship

Tim Shadix '09, a politics major at Whitman, is one of only 20 Emerson Fellowship recipients in the country.

This fellowship, a project of the Congressional Hunger Center, is a leadership development opportunity for students seeking to make a difference in the struggle to eliminate hunger and poverty. Shadix will spend the first half of his term of service with a community-based organization working to eliminate hunger at the local level. He will then move to Washington, D.C. to complete the year with a national organization involved in the anti-hunger and anti-poverty movement. 

Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program

Manuel Mora-Moreno, '10, a philosophy and Spanish major, received a fellowship from the Public Policy and International Affairs Program to attend the Junior Summer Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University this summer.

PPIA is a national program that prepares young adults for an advanced degree and ultimately for careers and influential roles serving the public good.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Jackson Cahn '10, a biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology (BBMB) major, received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to study at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md.

SURF's Gaithersburg program is for students majoring in science, mathematics and engineering. They participate in one of seven NIST laboratories: building and fire research; Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology; chemical science and technology; electronics and electrical engineering; information technology; manufacturing engineering; materials science and engineering; NIST Center for Neutron Research; and physics.

Cahn will work in the Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory/NIST Center for Neutron Research program. 

Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme

Five Whitman students have been selected this year for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. They are: Katrina Barlow '09, an environmental humanities major; Thomas Bugert '09, philosophy; Kaston Griffin '09, English; Kyle Pereira '09, Asian studies; and Jason Shon '09, Asian studies.

JET promotes a grassroots international exchange between Japan and other nations. JET participants strive to develop strong relationships in Japan through foreign language education and international exchange activities and then use their experiences to further enhance relations between Japan and their home countries.

Monterey Institute of International Studies Development Project Management Fellowship 

Musa Kpaka '09, an economics/mathematics major, won a fellowship in international development that will take him to Washington, D.C. this summer.

The fellowship program is linked to the Davis UWC Scholars Program, a major philanthropic force in promoting international understanding. Currently, the program provides scholarship support for 1,424 students from across the United States and around the world at a growing number of American colleges and universities. 

Kathryn Wasserman Davis Projects for Peace

Jesse Phillips '09, an environmental studies/humanities major, and Curt Bowen '09, a philosophy major, were awarded a $10,000 Projects for Peace grant to implement a sustainable biofuels initiative in Honduras.

Davis Projects for Peace is "an invitation to undergraduates at the American colleges and universities in the Davis United World College Scholars Program to design grassroots projects that they will implement during the summer of 2009," according to its Web site. "The objective is to encourage and support today's motivated youth to create and try out their own ideas for building peace."

Critical Language Scholarships (U.S. Department of State)

Molly Johnson ’12 was awarded a Critical Language Scholarship by the U.S. Department of State to study Arabic in Morocco this summer.

Additional award information: 

Fulbright U.S. Scholars Program

Two other Whitman students, Asteria Valusek '09, a sociology major, and David Blanchard '09, a philosophy major, were Fulbright finalists.

Harry S. Truman Scholarship

Camila Thorndike '10  and Lisa Curtis '10 were selected as national finalists but did not receive Truman scholarships.

The mission of the Truman Scholarship Foundation is to find and recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in public service, and to provide them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training and fellowship with other students committed to making a difference. 

Princeton in Asia Fellowship

Jill Laney '09, an Asian studies major, was a PiA finalist. 

Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme

Reese Ishmael '09 (Asian studies), Michelle Kwon '09 (anthropology) and Brigitte Woods '09 (biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology) are all alternates for the program.

This news release will be updated as the college receives more information.