In the past ten years Whitman students have been awarded:

  • 1 Rhodes Scholarship 
  • 4 Truman Scholarships 
  • 62 Fulbright Fellowships 
  • 12 Watson Fellowships 
  • 8 Udall Awards 
  • 25 National Science Foundation Fellowships 
  • 2 Beinecke Scholarships 
  • 2 Goldwater Scholarships 
  • 1 CDC Fellowship 
  • 2 Trudeau Scholarship 

Recent Fellowship and Scholarship Recipients

Alegria Olmedo '12

Princeton in Asia Fellowship

Environmental Conservation with TRAFFIC, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hometown: Quito, Ecuador

Interests/pleasures: Charcoal drawing, dancing, running, writing

Best travel experience: Visiting Burma's ancient capital, Bagan, in 2011

What people don't know about me: I really wish I could sing well.

Words to live by: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." (Dr. Seuss)

Jessica Salvador ’07

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

English teaching assistantship, Bolu, Turkey

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Interests/pleasures: teaching, cooking, preserving food, backgammon, painting

Best travel experience: Trying a macaroon for the first time in Paris when I was 13. We called them "dessert hamburgers"!

What people don't know about me: I could grow old happily in Walla Walla.

Words to live by: "Alice laughed. ‘One can't believe impossible things.' ‘I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. ‘. . .Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'"
(Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, 1871)

Anya Caitlin Hardee ’12

DAAD InternXchange Program

Radio journalism and production, Berlin, Germany

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Major: German Studies

Interests/pleasures: radio, music, journalism, travel, languages

Best travel experience: Wandering Istanbul with my Kumpels.

What people don't know about me: Although I keep ending up in landlocked places, I love surfing. In my old age, I will become a beach bum.

Words to live by: "All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night . . . wake in the day to find out that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." (T.E. Lawrence)

Cara Lowry ’12

French Teaching Assistants Program (TAPIF)

English teaching assistantship, Auch, France

Hometown: Hermosa Beach, California

Major: Foreign Languages and Literatures (French)

Interests/pleasures: Reading, new foods, museum-hopping, cats

Best travel experience: Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Arles, Fall 2012

What people don't know about me: I have a male alter ego named Carl.

Words to live by: "Il est utile de connaître d'autres langues que la sienna . . . C'est comme de connaître d'autres gens, d'autres pays." ("It is useful to know languages other than your own . . . It's like knowing other people, other countries.") (Assia Djebar)

Dieter Brandner ’13

Goldwater Scholarship

Science research scholarship

Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska

Major: Biology

Interests/pleasures: biology, reading, foreign-exchange markets, technical writing, flightless birds, human evolution, carotenoids

Best travel experience: Italy, 2011, with professors Chris Wallace and Ginger Withers for International Brain Organization World Congress.

What people don't know about me: I've always wanted to live in Arizona.

Words to live by: "Theories have four stages of acceptance: 1) this is worthless; 2)this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view; 3)this is true, but quite unimportant; 4) I always said so." (J.B.S. Haldane)

Kevin Michael Dyer ’13

DAAD Summer Study Grant

German studies, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

Hometown: Carson City, Nevada

Major: English

Interests/pleasures: writing, reading, swimming, magic, music (The Gathering)

Best travel experience: climbing the Volkerschlacht Denkmal in Leipzig, a massive memorial commemorating the defeat of Napoleon near Leipzig.

What people don't know about me: While I'm an introvert at heart, I really enjoy meeting new people, even if I don't show it at the time.

Words to live by: "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams." (Arthur Edgar O'Shaughnessy)

Nathan Abrams ‘12

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Hometown: Bainbridge Island, Washington

Major: Applied Physics (through the 3/2 program)

Interests/pleasures: skiing, basketball, sailing, baseball, coffee

Best travel experience: Sailing with my family in the San Juan Islands.

What people don't know about me: I worked for a summer at a salmon processing plant in Alaska.

Words to live by: "Ask people how they got there, because I guarantee that no one took a direct path with no detours."

Seth Bergeson ‘10

Watson Fellowship

Independent travel and study in Belgium, France, Egypt, UAE, China

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Major: History

Interests/pleasures: cycling, chocolate fondue, people, "oldies" records

Best travel experience: An 88-hour bus trip across Senegal and Mali.

What people don't know about me: I'm a scholar of British romantic comedies.

Words to live by: "If things start happening, don't worry. Don't stew. Just go right along, and you'll start happening too." (Dr. Seuss)

Patricia Vanderbilt ‘12

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Hindi studies, Jaipur, India

Hometown: Bellingham, Washington

Major: English

Interests/pleasures: creative writing, Drama Club, The Pioneer

Best travel experience: Study abroad in India, 2010.

What people don't know about me: In high school I was a member of a mime troupe.

Words to live by: "Vertigo is the conflict between fear of falling and the desire to fall"  (Rushdie)

Cory Rand ’13

Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs

Leadership training

Hometown: Mill Valley, California

Interests/pleasures: Running, climbing, reading science fiction

Best travel experience: Semester abroad in Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo

What people don't know about me: I can't watch horror movies because I get too scared.

Words to live by: "If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two mouths and one ear." (Mark Twain)

Nicholas Gottschall ‘09

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

English teaching assistantship, India

Hometown: Walla Walla, Washington

Interests/pleasures: Music, food, playing drums, travel, reading, baseball, trying to speak foreign languages

Best travel experience: Independent study project in Bodhgaya, India, on study abroad, 2007.

What people don't know about me:  I'm a synaesthete; I experience music and sound as colorful, visual shapes and landscapes in my mind's eye.

Words to live by: "How strange it is to be anything at all."  (Jeff Mangum)

Lian Caspi '13

Watson Fellowship

Independent travel and study in United Kingdom, India, Nepal, South Africa and Colombia

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Major: Psychology

Interests/pleasures: Music, hiking, new ways to dance and move, baking, slacklining, chocolate, rafting, languages, swimming, travel, new instruments

Best travel experience: Going to a friend’s village to visit his family for Teej, the women’s festival, in Nepal.

What people don’t know about me: My feet are as flat as a pancake.

Words to live by: “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” (Rumi)

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