Award winners span the globe

June 14, 2011

Grinnell students won several major awards in 2011

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners of national scholarships, fellowships and grants! Grinnellians secured three Watson fellowships, a Davis Project for Peace award, two Barry Goldwater scholarships, and seven Fulbright grants, for a total of 13 awards. These winners continue the long-standing tradition of Grinnell students securing prestigious awards to support their studies.

Three Grinnell seniors, Alex Reich ′11Courtney Sheehan ′11, and Natalie Ngoc Truong ′11, were among only 40 students from 23 colleges nationwide to receive $25,000 fellowships from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation. The Watson Fellowship Program offers college graduates of unusual promise a year of independent exploration and travel outside the United States to foster effective participation in the world community.

  • Reich will use the Watson fellowship to work with environmental research and cultural organizations in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, studying the impact of global warming and globalization on Arctic communities.
  • Sheehan plans to study the politics of film festivals in Croatia, India, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Netherlands.
  • Truong plans to study speechwriting in the governments of India, South Africa, Vietnam, and Australia, comparing how politicians in each country advance their political goals and help construct their nation’s images through words.
Davis Projects for Peace invites undergraduates at American colleges and universities in the Davis United World College Scholars Program to design grassroots projects. The projects are funded at $10,000 each.
  • Ashraya Dixit ′14 is working this summer to pilot a straw-bale home-construction project in Kapilbastu district of Nepal, an area frequently hit by flash floods and earthquakes. His Straws of Steel project will include a workshop to introduce community members to the low-cost, energy-efficient building technique, actual construction of straw-bale houses, and documentation of the construction process in the disaster-prone area.

Congress established theBarry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program to encourage excellence in science and mathematics for American undergraduate students with excellent academic records and outstanding potential.

  • Boanne MacGregor ′12and Emily Blythe ′12have been named Goldwater Scholars and will receive up to $7,500 toward tuition and expenses for the 2011–12 academic year.
  • Kevin Jennison ′12 was named as an honorable mention.

Six Grinnellians were granted Fulbright grants, which fund one academic year of English teaching assistantships or academic study in another country. The Chronicle of Higher Education last year listed Grinnell as one of the “top producing schools” for students earning Fulbrights.

Grinnellians who accepted Fulbright grants this year include:
  • Nicole Bridgland ′11, for mathematics study at the University of Konstanz, Germany
  • Juan Garcia ′11, English teaching assistantship in Russia
  • Erin Labasan ′11, English teaching assistantship in Korea
  • Herbert Lynn ′11, English teaching assistantship in Indonesia
  • Elisabeth Masback ′11, English teaching assistantship in Spain
  • Ali Smith ′11, English Teaching assistantship in Turkey
  • Carolyn Wright ′10, English teaching assistantship in Brazil


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