Friday, Mar. 12, 2010 12:30 pm


GRINNELL, IA--Grinnell College senior Filippos Rodger Tsakiris has been awarded a prestigious Watson Fellowship for one year of independent study and travel abroad. Tsakiris, a physics major from Chios Island, Greece, with an environmental studies concentration, is one of only 40 students nationwide to receive the $25,000 fellowship from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation.

Tsakiris plans to use the Watson Fellowship to study environmental challenges and sustainable innovation on the island communities of the Western Isles of the United Kingdom, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, and the Maldives.

“I have chosen my destinations to provide all of the needed pieces of information to compile a holistic sustainable solution applicable to my home island,” Tsakiris said. “I hope that I will be able to bring fresh ideas to my hosts from my physics and environmental science background as they teach me about the particular challenges they face.”  Tsakiris previously studied renewable energy on the island of Samso during an off-campus study program in Denmark.

At Grinnell, Tsakiris has been an active member of the international student community, participated in the Student Environmental Committee, and served as a research, teaching, and lab assistant for the physics department. His career aspirations include continuing studies in environmental engineering and specializing in renewable energy systems.

The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program offers college graduates of unusual promise a year of independent exploration and travel outside of the U.S. to foster effective participation in the world community. Within the past 10 years, 14 Grinnell students have won Watson Fellowships.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 25 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs. -30-