Students earn prestigious scholarly awards
Standouts also earn Trumans, Fulbrights, a Udall and more ...
Whitman students with “unusual promise” and the likelihood of “making a difference” are the norm, not the exception. And while the recognition is rewarding, the honors these young people collected this year — and the amazing opportunities that go with them — are not surprising.
“We are immensely proud of these students and the faculty and staff who supported them through the scholarship process,” said President George Bridges. “For any college or institution to have students win two Truman Scholarships, three Watson Fellowships, five Fulbright Fellowships (three students declined in favor of other opportunities) and a Udall Scholarship in the same year is nothing short of spectacular.
One-year grant: $25,000 for independent study and travel outside the United States.
Erik Andersen ’08, Kneeland, Calif., will travel to Japan, Poland, Austria, Rwanda, Israel and Northern Ireland to study public art to understand how physical reminders of past violence reshape the physical spaces and historical memories of a people.
Joseph Bornstein ’08, Ashland, Ore., will spend time in Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Ecuador, Mali and India to volunteer with, and study organizations involved in, sustainable community development. Bornstein won a Truman Scholarship as a junior.
Teal Greyhavens ’08, Eugene, Ore., will survey the role of cinema and habits of film audiences in the United Kingdom, Burkina Faso (West Africa), Egypt, India and China, locations selected for their prominent film industries and cultural diversity. “I believe in the power of films to connect and balance diverse peoples, but today’s global cinema is complicated and disorienting since film viewing is not only individually subjective but has become culturally subjective,” Greyhavens wrote in his Watson application.
Up to $30,000 for graduate study and priority admission and financial aid for graduate school.
Erica Goad ’09, Golden, Colo., is a biology-environmental studies major who has been active at Whitman in the Campus Climate Challenge, Conservation Committee and Outdoor Program, and has worked with community environmental groups. She also was a team captain for the Ultimate Frisbee Club.
Caitlin Shoenfelder ’09, La Grande, Ore., is a politics major with a minor in Latin American studies. She played a leadership role in field trips throughout the Northwest and to the U.S.-Mexico border to learn more about immigration, and she volunteers in the local Latino community.
Up to $5,000 for college sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated commit-ment to careers related to the environment.
Elena Gustafson ’10, Los Alamos, N.M., created the Youth Adventure Program in which Whitman students lead local youth on outdoor education trips. She is active in the Youth Development Initiative on campus to create community service opportunities for disenfranchised youth in Sierra Leone.
One year of research or teaching abroad.
Grant Margeson ’08 (not pictured), Grants Pass, Ore., will put years of German language study and math tutoring to work as a teaching assistant in Germany. That country’s educational system is in transition, Margeson said in his Fulbright application. With his familiarity with the American system (his mom is a teacher), he is anxious to explore how a different culture tackles its educational issues. Margeson, a devoted animal lover active in Whitman’s Action for Animals and a volunteer animal rescuer in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, also looks forward to studying animal rights issues in Germany, the first nation in Europe to provide constitutional rights for animals.
Janna Stone ’08, Federal Way, Wash., will teach English as a second language in Germany. She believes her experiences as a summer intern in Germany in 2006, an America Reads/Counts intern, a student academic adviser and a resident assistant for Das Deutsche Haus (Whitman’s German interest house) will help her engage students in intercultural dialogue. She also hopes to explore contemporary German literature written by minorities to better understand the “unique perspective minority voices can bring to a culture.”
Suzanne Zitzer ’08, Auburn, Wash., will study at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany. A German and history double major, Zitzer wants to pursue a career in international environmental policy to “shift global practices in the direction of sustainability and work to harmonize the lifestyles of humans with their natural environment.”
German Academic Exchange Service
Two-year scholarship to complete a master’s in American studies at the John F. Kennedy Institute of Freie Universität Berlin.
Mark Prentice ’08, Bothell, Wash., will study politics and history at the JFK Institute. “I am interested in German-American political and cultural relations as well as anti-Americanism in Germany itself,” Prentice said. “Being in Germany during the November (U.S.) election will be a unique opportunity to watch how developments within the United States are received abroad.”
The Public Policy and International Affairs Program
Seven weeks at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Henry Musa Kpaka ’09, a Davis United World College scholar from Sierra Leone, will build on his previous experiences helping people in developing countries. Kpaka received a $10,000 Project for Peace grant in 2007 through which he created the “Youth Empowerment in Sierra Leone” three-day workshop to help youth see hope and potential for improvements in their country. “During the Civil War, we saw young people at the forefront of destroying the very communities where they grew up,” said Kpaka. “I started thinking about how to help young people regain that sense of belonging and responsibility again.” His effort has blossomed into the Youth Development Initiative at Whitman. YDI students will travel to Sierra Leone this summer to educate youth about community service projects.
Davis Projects for Peace
A $10,000 grant to implement a student project that will “bring new thinking to the prospects for peace in the world.”
Meheret Endeshaw ’08 will return to her homeland of Ethiopia this summer to implement her project to reduce the stigma borne by Ethiopian children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. “There are many nongovernmental organizations working to combat HIV transmission ... but they’re not addressing the survivors,” Endeshaw said. She plans to create a library with Internet access for orphans in Dessie, Ethiopia. She also wants to start a recreation center with a competitive soccer league. “The recreational program will create close bonds and better integrate these youth back into their community,” she said. Endeshaw volunteers at a Walla Walla nonprofit that supports HIV/AIDS victims and their loved ones.
Humanity in Action
Five-week fellowship in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Seth Bergeson ’10, a history major from Seattle, will join university students from Europe in an intensive study of contemporary minority and human rights issues. Bergeson is an active member of the Youth Development Initiative at Whitman.
Boren Scholarship (National Security Education Program)
One year of study at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Alex Potter ’10 (not pictured), Seattle, is fluent in Chinese and has studied Arabic for a year. The scholarship supports U.S. undergraduates who plan to study languages and cultures now underrepresented in study abroad and critical to U.S. security. Potter hopes to begin a “lifelong dialog between my American culture and the Islamic/Egyptian culture.”