Whitties receive prestigious D.C. fellowships; record year for diversity of major scholarly honors

May 17, 2010

Two latest Whitman students receiving fellowships will head to Washington, D.C.

Whitman College’s national debate champion Nate Cohn ’10 has secured yet another honor. He is a recent recipient of The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace fellowship, selected from an international pool of distinguished applicants that typically includes students in top masters and Ph.D. programs and individuals already in career positions at such prestigious institutions as the Foreign Policy Research Institute, National Academy of Sciences and National Model United Nations,

And in another highly selective process, Whitman College junior politics major Navdeep Aujla ’11, a politics major, has been selected for The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, and will receive up to $50,000 for each of her next two years of education.

“These achievements are tremendous,” said Keith Raether, director of Whitman’s Office of Fellowships and Grants.

The Pickering Fellowship program targets outstanding students who are interested in pursuing a Foreign Service career and aims to develop a source of trained men and women from academic disciplines that represent the skill needs of the United States Department of State.

Aujla, who is working toward a career in international relations and government work, served as an intern for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell in 2008 and as a research associate for MPRI, a consulting firm in Alexandria, Va. in 2009.

Cohn’s fellowship will give him the opportunity to gain a Washington, D.C. perspective on key issues of peace and security. Twice yearly, the Scoville Fellowship's board selects a small group of outstanding individuals to spend six months in Washington. Historically, only about 3 percent of applicants are accepted. Cohn, supported by a monthly stipend, will serve as a full-time project assistant starting in August at a participating organization of his choice. Cohn said he currently is considering three possibilities: the Federation of American Scientists, Arms Control Association and Henry L. Stimson Center.

Whitman College undergraduates and alumni in academic year 2009-10 are recipients of the widest range of major fellowships, scholarships and grants of any year in the school’s history.

Whitman students and graduates so far this year have earned awards in 19 different fellowship, scholarship and grant programs, and are finalists in two other competitions.

In addition to the Pickering and Scoville fellowships, students and alumni have won two Watson fellowships, three Fulbright awards, three Princeton in Asia (PIA) fellowships, two National Science Foundation fellowships, two U.S. State Department Critical Language scholarships and one Humanity in Action (HIA) fellowship.

Whitman students also have received a Killam scholarship, Princeton in Latin America (PILA) fellowship, DMI Scholars award and Roosevelt Institute fellowship. It was the college’s first participation in each of the four award competitions.

Also, a Whitman finalist awaits word that would make her the school’s fourth PIA recipient in 2009-10.

A current list of fellowship and grant recipients and their awards is at the end of this story: Whitman students and alumni win fellowships and grants in 19 programs

— Virginia Grantier