Two Whitties Awarded 2023 Watson Fellowships
By Bradley Nelson
Whitman College senior Katie Jose ’23 and alum Annie Means ’22 were each recently awarded the prestigious and highly competitive Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.
The Watson Fellowship program offers college graduates a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel outside of the United States to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, openness and leadership, and to foster humane and effective participation in the global community. This year, 42 Watson Fellows were selected from 155 finalists who were nominated by their respective institutions.
Katie Jose, a double major in Global Health and Hispanic Studies, will undertake a project titled “Understanding Traditional Medicine” that will take her to the Philippines, Hong Kong and Argentina.
“Developed over generations, traditional medicine, also known as indigenous or folk medicine, is used by over 80% of the world’s population,“ says Jose. “Through the Watson, I hope to understand the complexities of these treatments and the potential that exists between traditional and Western medicine.”
Annie Means, who graduated in December with a double major in Environmental Humanities and Hispanic Studies, will undertake a project titled “Gender Inclusion in the Maritime Industry” that will take her to the United Kingdom, Iceland, Australia and Chile.
“Women make up a tiny percent of mariners, fishers and sailors,” says Means. “Why are they such a small part of the global nautical community? Engaging with female boat-builders, commercial fisherwomen, professional sailors, and the stories of historical female voyagers, I hope to learn how their experiences can inform the maritime sector’s future.”
Jess Hernandez, Director of Fellowships and Grants and member of the committee that interviewed and selected finalists to represent Whitman College at the national level, is excited for the futures of these two new Watson Fellows.
“Katie urges us to imagine a more inclusive, holistic, and empowering healthcare system in the United States that integrates traditional and Western medicine approaches,” says Hernandez. “Annie directs our attention to the value of a more (gender-) inclusive maritime industry and community that centers, uplifts and supports women-identifying mariners. These are two changemakers you are going to want to keep your eyes on.”
Whitman College is one of 41 institutions that partner with the Watson Foundation. All Watson Fellows remain outside of the United States pursuing their project goals for a full calendar year.