As the end of the 2004-2005 academic year approaches, seven more Whitman students have won prestigious awards from the Fulbright, Udall and Goldwater foundations, announced Julia Davis, director of the college’s Office of Grants and Fellowships. The Udall and Goldwater recipients will receive financial scholarships for expenses next year, and the Fulbright winners will travel around the world to Bangladesh, Chile and South Korea for projects of their own choosing.

    Davis said she is "thrilled" with the 2004-2005 results, and is looking forward to working with students applying for these and other awards next year. "The awards process is intense and competitive, but success is very attainable," said Davis, "and the experience itself is irreplaceable." Davis, a 1990 Whitman graduate who herself was the recipient of a Fulbright to study philosophy in Germany, teaches philosophy and general studies at Whitman and is in her second year at the helm of the newly established office. She can be reached at 527-5054 or at davisj@whitman.edu.

    Davis’s enthusiasm is mirrored in her students’ reactions.

    Bridget Kustin, a senior English major, will spend next year in Bangladesh. Her self-created project will be funded by the Fulbright Student Program, considered the flagship of America’s educational exchange programs. The award will allow her to conduct research in Bangladesh regarding the role of Islam in the lives of women working in garment factories in the capital city of Dhaka. “I’m incredibly honored to receive the Fulbright and have the opportunity to return to living and researching women’s issues in South Asia,” said Kustin, who studied abroad in Jaipur, India, during her junior year. “Most of my academic work this past year has centered around South Asia, gender and post-coloniality, and I’m excited beyond words to be able to apply that knowledge to field research.”

    Kustin said she made extensive use of Davis’s office and expertise in the application process. “She was amazing. She was very accessible throughout the process. I’m so grateful for her excellent editorial eye and her unwavering support.”

    Laura Davis and Laura Bakkensen, Fulbright teaching award winners, will spend the next year teaching English in Chile and South Korea, respectively. “Teaching English in Chile is going to be amazing,” said Davis, a senior politics major. “There is really nothing I would rather do.” Applying for the Fulbright was a little like taking an extra class for a month, she added, but Davis was “incredibly helpful in guiding us all through the process.” Bakkensen, a senior honors candidate in economics, will teach English in South Korea next year. She said she is looking forward to living with a host family in Korea. “This experience will give me a year to grow and challenge my views of the world and myself before I attend the London School of Economics for a master’s degree in Environment and Development in the fall of 2006.”

    Savannah Ferguson, currently a junior pursuing an individually designed major in environmental studies/writing, will receive, for the second year in a row, a Morris K. Udall Scholarship. The Udall is open to college undergraduates (excluding first-year students) who have demonstrated outstanding potential in environmental studies–related fields and to Native Americans and Alaska Native undergraduates who have shown similar potential in the study of health care or tribal public policy. For the 2005-2006 academic year, 80 scholars will receive an award of up to $5,000 to help defray educational expenses. “I am enormously grateful to have been awarded a Udall Scholarship for a second year. The scholarship itself is, of course, for tuition here at Whitman, but it has also allowed me to enroll in a small writing workshop at the University of Montana called the Environmental Writing Institute.” Winners of the Udall assemble each August in Tucson, Arizona, from around the country to receive their awards and meet policy-makes and community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care and governance. “Because of this award, I will have a network of intelligent, energetic and compassionate environmentalists behind me wherever I go and in everything I do.”

    Of the 50 honorable mentions given nationwide, two Whitman students, sophomore Miles Johnson and junior Harmony Paulsen, were chosen. Honorable mention winners will receive $350 each to help defray educational expense for the 2005-2006 academic year.

    Junior Mark Hubenthal was awarded one of only 320 Barry Goldwater scholarships given nationwide this year. Selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,091 math, science and engineering students, the scholars are sophomores and juniors for the 2005-2006 academic year who will receive up to $7,500 toward the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board. “I’m especially happy to have been awarded the Goldwater Scholarship, which I will use to pay the rest of my college tuition. Past awardees have made numerous exceptional accomplishments in the fields of science and mathematics, and I can only hope that I do the same.”

CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156; Email: parishlj@whitman.edu