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Fords Lead the Way in Fellowships and Grants

Dylan Hatt '10, one of four Haverford Fulbright winners.
Dylan Hatt '10, one of four Haverford Fulbright winners.

Three Haverford seniors and one recent graduate have won Fulbrights, and two seniors have received Watson Fellowships for international study and travel.

Fellowship applicants are starting to hear from organizations like Fulbright, and already Haverford is emerging as a leader in terms of the number of grants and fellowships earned by Fords past and present. Three students and one alumnus have won Fulbright grants for research, and two students have received Watson Fellowships for independent study and travel abroad.

Three Fulbright winners from the Class of 2010—Sara Berman, Connor Bischak and Dylan Hatt—will spend next year in Germany participating in cutting-edge scientific research. Berman will work at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in the Axonal Guidance and Neuronal Connectivity Laboratory, examining a transmembrane protein in the fly. Bischak will join the lab of Martina Havenith at the Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum in Bochum Germany; his project will involve THz laser spectroscopy, a new technique used by only a few labs around the world. Hatt will return to the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy, where he worked last summer. He will analyze images of patches of sky where astronomers believe they may have found previously unknown “dwarf galaxies.”

Recent graduate Paul Bisceglio ’09 will use his Fulbright to fund his enrollment in the Philosophy and Literature M.A. course at the United Kingdom’s University of Warwick. The course lasts three terms, with two semesters of classes and a summer dissertation. Dean of Academic Affairs Philip Bean, who oversees the Fulbright application process, says that it is notoriously difficult to win a Fulbright for study in the U.K. There were 405 applicants for U.K. Fulbrights last year, and Bisceglio was the only winner of the scholarship earmarked for Warwick.

“I think the success of our [Fulbright] candidates reflects extremely well on the quality of a Haverford education,” says Bean. “Each of these successes represent months of work in the short-term, which is itself the end product of years of careful, thoughtful, and intensive preparation. And given that these current seniors and one graduate were successful in a competition with graduate students as well as graduating seniors, it really is quite an accomplishment for them to be chosen by Fulbright.”

This year’s Watson Fellows are seniors Madeleine Kreider Carlson and Tim Richards. Out of 150 finalists, 41 students from select liberal arts colleges across the country were chosen as 2010-11 Fellows; they will receive funding to focus on independent projects outside of the United States and both projects grew out of work they did under the auspices of Haverford's Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC).  Past Watson Fellows have gone on to become college professors, politicians, doctors, artists, diplomats, journalists, and lawyers.

"Students who receive Watson Fellowships are bold, courageous, and passionate," says Senior Associate Dean of the College and Dean of Student Life Steve Watter, who shepherds the application process. "The Fellowships allow students to go anywhere in the world to pursue their dreams, and they return from their experiences as citizens of the world."

Kreider Carlson will travel through Mexico, Egypt and Indonesia to study the art and socio-economic importance of crafts, exploring women’s craft organizations and the ways they create economic vitality and affect community value systems. Richards will live in permaculture communities, ecovillages, and Transition Towns across five continents; these types of communities have emerged as international movements aimed at achieving sustainable lifestyles.

For eight years, Dean Bean has been actively encouraging and helping students to apply for a variety of scholarships and grants. “These are incomparable opportunities, and when I say that, I do not mean to suggest that the opportunity is in the winning,” he says. “Application for these scholarships can be rewarding in its own right, as it prompts students to think about what motivates them and why.  The process can promote a level of self knowledge that they might otherwise not have attained at this point in their lives.”

-Brenna McBride

Originally posted at: http://www.haverford.edu/news/stories/37111/161