Watson Fellow to study music therapy

Lian Caspi '13

Lian Caspi ’13 is one of 38 Whitman students who earned fellowships, scholarships and grants.

Lian Caspi ’13 said she is ready to get her “jam on.”

The psychology major from Bellevue, Wash., by way of Israel, has been granted a Watson Fellowship, a one-year grant of $25,000 for independent study and travel outside the U.S.

Caspi plans to use her Watson to “explore the ways in which culture informs the use of music as a resource for healing.”

Caspi’s field research will see her circle the globe for 12 months. She’ll first receive grounding in the psychological theories of music therapy while in London. She will then put these theories to the test by working with autistic children at an orphanage in India; traveling on a train with a Nepalese musical healer who teaches music therapy to elementary school teachers; and going to South Africa, where she’ll work with mothers and their children who are dealing with AIDS. She plans to end her Watson in Colombia, incorporating the country’s music into a universal therapeutic program.

Discovering unexpected pursuits is often what students find at Whitman. Caspi credits her time at Whitman for endowing in her a sense of wonder and curiosity.

“At Whitman, I became interested in learning about everything, even the names of trees and birdcalls. I became more aware of my surroundings.

“Whitman enhances the awe of learning.”

Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants 2012-13

Whitman students earned their fair share of prestigious academic awards in the past year. There were 38 recipients of fellowships, scholarships and grants. Four students were alternates, three earned honorable mentions and two were national finalists.

Among the recipients is Lauren Kutler ’13, who is Whitman’s first Math for America Fellow. The award includes full tuition and a $25,000 award toward an M.A.T. degree at Boston University, a full-time teacher’s contract, and salary for four years with $50,000 in stipends.

Here are a few of this year’s recipients:

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

  • Brandon Fennell ’11 (funding for graduate studies in chemical synthesis, Stanford University)
  • Nat Clarke ’11 (funding for graduate studies in developmental biology, Stanford University)
  • Megan McConville ’07 (funding for graduate studies in environmental chemical systems, University of Wisconsin)
  • Kelly Jedd ’11 (honorable mention, psychology, University of Minnesota)
  • Julia Schroeder ’09 (honorable mention, psychology, UCLA)

Math for America Fellowship

  • Lauren Kutler ’13 (Boston program: four-year teaching fellowship and full M.A.T. degree funding, Boston University)

Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs

  • Cory Rand ’13 (one-year leadership development, St. Louis program)

El Pomar Fellowship

  • Joanna French ’12 (two-year leadership development, Colorado)
  • Critical Language Scholarship (U.S. Department of State)
  • Ann Chen ’14 (Korean, Yonsei University, Wonju, Korea)
  • Davis Critical Languages Fellowship
  • Thomas Friedenbach ’11 (Russian, Middlebury College)
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program
  • Erik Larson ’13 (English teaching assistantship, Brazil)
  • Johannah Withrow-Robinson ’08 (alternate, awaiting word, English teaching assistantship, Sri Lanka)
  • Lauren Kutler ’13 (national finalist, English teaching assistantship, Germany)
  • Goldwater Scholarship
  • Nathan Radakovich ’14 (honorable mention)
  • Princeton in Asia Fellowship
  • Alegria Olmedo ’12 (communications, TRAFFIC wildlife conservation NGO, Hanoi, Vietnam)
  • Princeton in Africa Fellowship
  • Fritz Siegert ’12 (English and biology teaching, Gaborone, Botswana)