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Students and alumni receive national recognition for academic excellence

April 14, 2011

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    Kenneth Rice ’11 is one of eight seniors to win Fulbright awards this spring.

Undergraduate Campus

This spring, Lewis & Clark students and alumni are claiming a bounty of national awards and honors in recognition of their academic excellence and commitment to global service. As they receive awards from prestigious organizations like the Fulbright Program and Goldwater Foundation, as well as competitive grants from the 100 Projects for Peace program, students credit their collaboration with faculty, their foundation in the liberal arts, and their international educational opportunities.

Learn more about the award recipients, their Lewis & Clark experiences, and what’s next for them in the stories below.

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   Fulbright program honors nine from Lewis & Clark

Eight Lewis & Clark seniors and one recent alumna will spend the next year teaching and researching around the world after receiving prestigious awards from the Fulbright Program. This total marks a new record for graduating seniors earning Fulbright honors in a single year.

Lewis & Clark is one of the top producers of Fulbright award winners in the country, with the third-highest acceptance rate among liberal arts colleges in 2010. Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program fosters mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Since 2008, 29 Lewis & Clark students have received Fulbright awards, demonstrating a sustained commitment to international education and engagement.

The following students and alumna earned Fulbright awards for the 2011-12 academic year: Kirbee Johnston ’11 (teaching, Austria); Andrew Lyle ’11 (teaching, Germany); Jacob Owens ’11 (teaching, South Korea); Emily Nguyen ’11 (research, Vietnam); Kenneth Rice ’11 (teaching, Austria); Logan Robertson ’11 (teaching, Russia); Luke Rodeheffer ’11 (research, Ukraine); Alexa Schmidt ’08 (teaching, Bangladesh); and Margaret Williams ’11 (teaching, Russia).

Learn more about some of this year’s recipients below. 

k_johnstonKirbee Johnston ’11

Hometown: Spokane, Washington | Majors: German and psychology

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Amstetten, Austria

What drew you to studying a foreign language? What excites you about the idea of teaching English in Austria?

I cannot exactly say what drew me to studying foreign language in the first place. My high school required at least two years of foreign language study and offered Spanish, French, and German. The Spanish classes were practically full, and I did not want to copycat my older sister by studying French, so I decided to go with German. As my German skills grew, I realized that I loved being able to convey myself and understand others in a completely new way. I like seeing all the similarities and differences between German and English and enjoy learning words and phrases that do not have direct translations. I am excited to teach English in Austria because—even though I’ve been on a trip to Vienna and have learned some of the country’s history—I do not know much about modern Austria. I am also looking forward to teaching the students the little differences between British English and American English.

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Andrew Lyle ’11

Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska | Major: English

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Germany

What drew you to studying a foreign language? What excites you about the idea of teaching English in Germany?

I started learning German in high school because my family on my father’s side is from Würzburg, a relatively large town in southern Germany. Our family history in Germany made me curious about the German language and culture. I didn’t want to lose that connection. I spent a year in Munich my junior year through a Lewis & Clark overseas program. That experience was truly amazing. I enjoyed my time in Germany so much that I was inspired to go back. I am excited to teach English in Germany for precisely the same reasons I have enjoyed learning German. I haven’t just learned the language; I’ve learned very much about Germany and the German people. With this in mind, I want to curate the curriculum in such a way as to draw attention to interesting aspects of American culture, while also teaching the language.

undefinedEmily Nguyen ’11

Hometown: Portland, Oregon | Major: environmental studies

Award: Fulbright Research Fellowship to evaluate the ecological and social impacts of ecovillage implementations in the rural—and primarily ethnic minority—regions of Vietnam.

How did you become interested in your research topic? What sort of real-world implications might your research have?

Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Studies Program trains ENVS students to be adept in a method called situated research. Part of our situated research training included exploring critical environmental problems and solutions in six international sites. In the summer of 2010, I received a SAAB grant from Lewis & Clark to live and work for nearly two months in the small farming communities of Ladakh, India. The research that I conducted in Ladakh sparked my interest in studying localization projects in the developing world. 

The ecovillage design presents newly industrialized parts of the world with an innovative model of sustainable development that may help to preserve traditional cultures, strengthen rural economies, and enhance biodiversity. Vietnamese environmental and developmental institutions have recognized the potential of the ecovillage model and—since 1992—they have set up a total of 19 ecovillages throughout the rural regions of Vietnam. While many ecovillages have reported positive ecological and social impacts, there has never been a full and comprehensive analysis of how localization in these parts of the world yield such results. I hope to create one of the first holistic evaluations of ecovillage projects in Vietnam. 

jakeowens

Jacob Owens ’11

Hometown: Corvallis, Oregon | Majors: international affairs and mathematics

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in South Korea, where he will teach elementary school students. In addition to the Fulbright award, Owens was also selected to join the highly competitive Teach for America program. After his return from South Korea, Owens will begin his work with Teach for America, joining a corps of educators tasked with significantly boosting student achievement as part of a national initiative to overcome education gaps in some of the country’s most underserved schools.

How do you think your Lewis & Clark education contributed to you seeing yourself as a citizen in a global community?

My past four years here at Lewis & Clark College have enabled me to pursue my two passions: mathematics and international human rights. Though I am aware how distinct these two concentrations are from one another, both are paramount interests of mine that have driven much of my academic career and continue to drive my professional ambitions. Using my double major of international affairs and mathematics, I intend to find (or create) a career in mathematical education reform or international human rights politics. The analytical tools gained by my education here, my relentless dedication to my work, and my zeal for political activism will continue to shape my future in ways unknown, but my time at Lewis & Clark has prepared me for whatever lies ahead.

undefinedKenneth Rice ’11

Hometown: Lake Oswego, Oregon | Major: international affairs

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Oberwart, Austria

Have you studied abroad during your time at Lewis & Clark? How has your Lewis & Clark education contributed to your development in seeing yourself as a citizen in a global community?

I participated in the Munich study abroad program, and it was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. I learned a great deal about myself, became more independent, and became addicted to traveling to as many cities and countries as possible! Moreover, I learned how the German higher education system works, and I learned that different ways of learning can be equally valuable as what we are accustomed to. Lewis & Clark has opened up so many opportunities that I would not have been able to get elsewhere. The professors in each department really challenged me to be the best student/person I could be, and where I struggled, they pushed me even harder to achieve.

logan robertsonLogan Robertson ’11

Hometown: Madison, WI | Major: foreign languages
Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship at a school of international business Irkutsk, Russia

What drew you to studying a foreign language? How do you think your Lewis & Clark education contributed to your development in seeing yourself as a citizen in a global community?

I see learning a new language as the ticket to a whole new world of people, ideas, and experiences. By learning Russian, I’m suddenly able to communicate with 285 million new people whose lives, thoughts, and inspirations were largely inaccessible before.

I was lucky to spend my first two years at Lewis & Clark living in Akin, the international dorm, where I was exposed to peers from all around the globe on a daily basis. My time there, and in language classes, helped make the world a much smaller, friendlier place. Suddenly, a trip to Tajikistan or the Ukraine was not an exotic voyage, but simply dropping by a good friend’s home. This international network of friends has already been a wonderful addition to my life and is one I plan to continue fostering throughout my lifetime.

luke_rLuke Rodeheffer ’11

Hometown: Rochester, Minnesota | Major: foreign languages and literatures

Award: Fulbright Research Fellowship to Kiev, Ukraine, where he will study the construction of Ukrainian historical identity and how various factions of the country interpret that identity and its relation to the Stalinist period differently.

How did you become interested in your research topic? What sort of real-world implications might your research have?

I lived in Moscow for year through a non-LC program, and the research I conducted there made me very interested in further studying the history of modern Eastern Europe. I first became interested in this topic when studying Soviet and Ukrainian history and watching the continuing discourse on this period within contemporary Ukrainian society. This historical period is vital to the construction of Ukrainian post-Soviet identity, primarily because it reveals a large amount about Ukraine’s relationship with Europe and other post-Soviet states. This issue continues to play a huge role in the political discourse in Ukrainian society.

undefinedMargaret Williams ’11

Hometown: Rockport, Maine | Major: international affairs

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship at a Russian university

What drew you to studying a foreign language? What excites you about the idea of teaching English in Russia?

I think learning foreign languages fosters better cross-cultural understanding. As a student of international relations, I am very interested in creating pathways that enable productive dialogue among states, and I believe that languages are key in this goal. I spent the fall of my junior year studying in St. Petersburg, Russia, which was one of my most challenging yet rewarding experiences. I was placed far outside my comfort zone, but by the end I had gained a deep appreciation for cross-cultural understanding. As a language teacher I will not focus solely on the rote memorization of vocabulary and grammar structures. Instead, I will foster an appreciation for English as an art of communication and a means of cultural understanding. This perspective helped me as I struggled to understand the purpose behind seemingly irrational Russian grammar concepts. These experiences as a student and teacher have taught me that the greatest teaching tools are patience, flexibility, and creativity. I plan to use them.

 

   Junior earns top science honor

Analise Rodenberg ’12 received a prestigious science scholarship for her exceptional work in physics and mathematics. Rodenberg is one of 275 students to earn Barry M. Goldwater scholarships this spring, from a field of 1,095 applicants nationwide. The Goldwater Scholarship provides up to $7,500 per year for educational expenses to sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.

Widely considered the preeminent award in the United States for undergraduates preparing for careers in the sciences, Goldwater scholarships have been awarded to nine Lewis & Clark students in the past five years.

In the following interview, Rodenberg discusses faculty-student collaboration at Lewis & Clark and what she hopes to do after graduation.

rodenbergAnalise Rodenberg ’12

Hometown: New Ulm, Minnesota | Majors: math and physics

What drew you to studying the sciences?

I have always enjoyed tinkering with things and asking why it is that they work. This curiosity led to me to study physics, which in turn introduced me to the beauty of mathematics, my current focus. I really enjoy how wonderfully math models our physical world.

Do you work closely with faculty? What is that experience like?

Last summer, I had the opportunity to work closely with Professor Iva Stavrov and another undergraduate student on research in general relativity involving solutions to the Einstein Constraint Equations in spherical symmetry assuming non-constant mean curvature. We hope that our work will help to broaden solutions and help to create new methodologies.

It was an amazing opportunity that taught me what mathematical research is like. It was rewarding yet frustrating at times. There were days where we would just puzzle over our current results and try to work out the next step, only to be unable to figure it out over and over again. Those days made successful days all the more satisfying.

I think that having the opportunity to perform research with a professor on campus has really changed my view of my learning experience. After doing research, I have a much greater appreciation for what I am learning in class as I now see many more applications of what I am learning.

What are your plans for the future, and how do you think your Lewis & Clark education is preparing you for those goals?

Due to my love for differential equations and modeling, I am currently planning to pursue a career in operations research. To achieve this, I hope to attend graduate school for either a degree in operations research or engineering.

Here at Lewis & Clark, I have had many opportunities to expand my knowledge in these areas. Many professors in the math department specialize in, or work closely with, differential equations. I have had many great opportunities to work with them. They have been very supportive in all of my work. Operations research also has a strong connection with dynamical systems, so my physics major complements my math major nicely in this aspect.

 

   Biology major receives scholarship to support environmental career

A lifelong nature enthusiast, Laura Bogar ’12 is one of 70 college students nationwide to be honored by the Udall Foundation this spring as a future environmental leader. The Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation awards merit-based scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated outstanding potential and a commitment to preserving, protecting, or restoring environmental resources.

Lewis & Clark students have been named Udall Scholars eight times in the past 10 years. Bogar will use the $5,000 scholarship during her senior year. In the following interview, Bogar discusses her commitment to environmental conservation and how her experiences at Lewis & Clark are preparing her to influence the field of biodiversity research.

laura bogarLaura Bogar ’12

Hometown: Seattle, Washington | Major: biology

What inspired your interest in the environment?

My parents made a point of taking me hiking in the mountains around Seattle from a very young age, carrying me on their backs when I was too young to do much walking myself and bribing me down the trail with candy when I got a little older. These excursions helped instill a powerful sense of connection to the natural world that has been very important to me since then.

I actually chose my major because I knew it would allow me to hold a job that required thinking hard and being outside, and because it would allow me to contribute to our understanding of natural systems. It is difficult for lands to remain protected simply because they are beautiful. Perhaps, as a biologist, my work can provide useful information to land managers about the features they might not have thought to conserve.

Have you been involved in environmental advocacy?

Last year, as co-president of SEED, I helped lead a campaign to raise the student green energy fee here at L&C, aiming to power our school with 100 percent renewable electricity. This campaign was very successful. We are now purchasing enough renewable energy credits to account for all of our energy use on all three campuses. This is very exciting, and makes a strong statement that the Lewis & Clark community values sustainability.

I think that leading College Outdoors hikes may be one of the most important things I do to advocate for the environment. Whenever possible, I am involved with the outings focused on forest ecology and wildflower identification. Environmental education is a crucial piece of conservation: if no one cares about the land, who will fight to protect it?

Do you work closely with faculty? What is that experience like?

At Lewis & Clark, how can a student avoid working closely with faculty? I feel like I’ve had really great opportunities to get to know my profs in upper level classes this year. My professors are all incredibly available to talk about coursework or internships or hazy future plans, and I feel like we really are able to get to know each other personally. I sing in choir with my ecology prof. It’s great.

The summer after my freshman year, I worked with Professor Greta Binford, researching the biogeography of brown recluse relatives as a part of the Rogers Summer Research Program. That experience really helped me understand what biology research is, and what kinds of things are involved in studying evolution and biogeography. It was a valuable experience for me, one that I hope to build upon while doing research for a senior thesis on fungal ecology.

 

   History scholar receives fellowship to explore representations of indigenous peoples

Nikki Myoraku, a junior history and art history double major, has been awarded one of ten highly competitive fellowships to participate in a summer seminar at the University of Pennsylvania’s McNeil Center for the Study of Early America.

As a SHEAR/Mellon (Society for Historians of the Early American Republic) fellow, Myoraku will receive a stipend for travel, housing, and other living expenses for the duration of the seminar in Philadelphia, where she will also conduct archival research for her Lewis & Clark senior honors thesis. Myoraku will study how visual representations of Native Americans as far back as the 17th century may still influence non-native perceptions today.

Myoraku is the second SHEAR/Mellon Fellow from Lewis & Clark College since the program began in 2005. Below, she discusses the importance of collaboration in her work and how her study relates to her future academic and professional goals.

myorakuNikki Myoraku ’12

Hometown: Menlo Park, California | Majors: history and art history

What topic will you be studying, and how did you become interested in it?

I am using my SHEAR/Mellon Fellowship to research images of Native Americans as depicted in U.S. captivity narratives between the 17th and 19th. Specifically, I am interested in performing a visual analysis of images in captivity narratives from the eastern woodland/Atlantic seaboard regions compared with those found in captivity narratives from the Great Plains.

Although my interest in Native American history and tribal affairs dates back to years of family driving trips in the western states, I credit Professor Stephen Beckham with suggesting the particular topic of captivity narratives for my history thesis.

What sort of real-world implications might your research have?

My goal in completing this project is to gain a better understanding of how the figure of the Plains tribesman has become one of the ubiquitous images representing a “universal American Indian type” in mainstream U.S. society. Images of Native peoples in captivity narratives were some of the earliest to be circulated among non-Natives in the U.S. (as well as abroad) and thus are likely to have been influential in laying the foundation for how non-Natives perceive Natives today.

There are many urgent issues that confront Natives today, and it is my hope that by learning how contemporary non-Native perceptions of Natives originated, I can better understand the reasons behind non-Native treatment of Natives today. With this foundation, I hope to work with Native peoples to increase their interactions with non-Natives in a constructive manner, as well as raise non-Native awareness of the issues facing Native peoples.

What are your plans for the future, and how do you think your Lewis & Clark education is preparing you for those goals?

My interactions with the students and faculty at Lewis & Clark have been eye opening in teaching me how to work with individuals from other cultural backgrounds and preparing me to engage with and respond to any future academic situations.

Classes on the history of the American West and its attendant peoples and problems, which I’ve taken with Professor Beckham, have shown me the various ways in which individuals from different backgrounds and in different eras have negotiated the question of how to portray and treat Native Americans, and I am very grateful to have had Professor Beckham as my adviser for the past three years.

In the future, I hope to work directly with a tribe on a reservation in addressing some of the issues that are most pertinent to their community. Before doing this, I plan to attend graduate school, probably to pursue a Ph.D. in history with a concentration in tribal affairs.

 

   Two student groups earn grants to promote global peace

For the first time ever, two Lewis & Clark student groups have earned competitive grants from philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis’ 100 Projects for Peace Initiative. Over the summer, students will tackle water scarcity in Ethiopia and human rights education in Morocco.

Now in its fifth year, the celebrated grant program encourages undergraduate students to design grassroots projects to be undertaken around the world. Each year since the program’s inception, Lewis & Clark students have earned the coveted $10,000 grants to pursue projects addressing diverse challenges, from poverty and gender inequality in India’s City of Widows to overcoming the neglect of Brazilian orphans.

This year, the largest number of Lewis & Clark will be involved in the peace initiatives, with more than a dozen students playing a role in the two groups. Learn more about the projects in the profiles below.

Drilling Well, Providing Clean Water and Promoting Peace in Borena, Ethiopia

100proj_waterWorking with Oxfam International, a group of five Lewis & Clark students will drill a well in the Borena region of Southern Ethiopia to provide clean, fresh water to a population long affected by water scarcity and resource conflicts. In conjunction with drilling the well, the group will design and host a peace workshop to educate local villagers about the lasting impact of violence and the many peaceful alternatives with which they can solve conflicts. The team—which includes Selam “Brook” Mentire ’11, Leah Scott-Zechlin ’11, Mihret Teklemichael ’12, Temesghen Habte ’12, and Seile Alemayehu ’13—will continue online fundraising efforts throughout the spring.

How did your group decide to focus on water scarcity as a threat to peace, and how did you select Borena, Ethiopia for the site of your project?

Mentire: The dire consequences of water scarcity resonate on a personal level with our three group members from Ethiopia, who have all seen firsthand the extraordinary challenges people face in securing clean water. From the beginning, we were determined to use water as an instrument for peace, but we did not know where and how we were going to link the two.

Habte:  After doing some pretty extensive research over winter break, we found that the region of Borena suffers from severe water scarcity. On several occasions, this water scarcity has let to brutal conflict because the two main tribes of the region fought over the right to access clean water. The most important factor that ultimately led us to Borena is the fact that Oxfam International does work in the region—work that is specific to water scarcity. We were extremely happy when Oxfam agreed to sponsor our project. They are a trusted organization with amazing credentials, so we knew we could rely on them.

Scott-Zechlin: It is difficult to share scarce resources peacefully, and the many women and children who walk for water each day are quite vulnerable. Personally, as an economics major, I view these daily treks as not only a humanitarian issue, but also as a severe underuse of human capital in the region. If our well can mitigate time spent gathering water, many people in Borena can apply themselves to other activities beyond those of subsistence. Giving these people a chance to engage in more productive activities will ultimately contribute to equitable development in the region, which is also integral to supporting peace.

How do you think your Lewis & Clark education has influenced your project?

Mentire: Three of us (Leah, Seile and I) are economics majors, Mihret is a biology major, and Temesgen is a philosophy major. Our concern about scarce resources could be attributed to economics courses; however, as liberal arts students, we all are also influenced by courses in international affairs, communications, sociology-anthropology, history, philosophy, and biology. In addition to these classes, our overall Lewis & Clark experience has been instrumental in helping us succeed. All of the group members are involved in various campus groups, leadership roles, and collaborations with community organizations. Our experiences in and out of the classroom have enabled us to organize, lead, coordinate, write, and fundraise.

Habte: I’m a philosophy major, and that has nothing to do with issues regarding water scarcity or with promoting peace half way across the world. If I kept taking only Philosophy classes, I would probably have never even thought about doing a project like the one we are doing. But a great thing about a liberal arts education, especially like the one offered at Lewis & Clark, is that it pushes you to explore beyond the boundaries. Even a philosophy major like myself eventually has to take a course that brings light to the severe social and environmental injustices that plague billions of people. In many ways, that kind of knowledge is a burden because one is no longer allowed to plead ignorance. However, one amazing thing about Lewis & Clark that I appreciate tremendously is that, for every problem of the world that the school exposes you to, you are provided with ample opportunities to help ameliorate that problem. One such opportunity is the 100 Projects for Peace Grant.

Tools for Tolerance: Human Rights Education in Casablanca, Morocco

samanthasteinSamantha Stein ’11, with the support of nearly a dozen Lewis & Clark student volunteers, will establish a human rights cultural center in Morocco’s largest city. Stein, who is currently participating in the inaugural Lewis & Clark overseas program in Morocco, will focus her efforts in Casablanca’s Hay Mohammadi district, an area of concentrated poverty. Lacking social and economic integration, the urban poor are stigmatized by other classes, causing a vicious cycle of poverty and further discrimination. Partnering with the Hay Mohammadi Ministry of Education and the Morocco Geneva Alliance for Human Rights, Stein and her team of Lewis & Clark volunteers will create a cultural center and facilitate human rights workshops with local youth and educators.

When forming her group, Stein reached out to students who would also be studying abroad in the region, who had relevant language skills, or who were passionate about human rights and international service. Her group includes members of each undergraduate class at Lewis & Clark, as well as students from other small, liberal arts colleges:

  • Terry Fletcher ’12, currently studying abroad in Senegal
  • Maxene Graze ’14
  • Rebecca Langer ’12, currently studying abroad in France
  • Hannah McCain ’12
  • Benjamin Moseley ’12, currently studying abroad in Beijing
  • Sarah Moseley ’14 (Vassar College)
  • Renda Nazzal ’12, currently studying abroad in Morocco
  • Alex Neff ’12 (Smith College)
  • Ell Olson ’12, currently studying abroad in Morocco
  • Claire Sparks ’11
  • Sydney Stead ’13
  • Samantha Stein ’11, currently studying abroad in Morocco
  • Helen Vernier ’12, currently studying abroad in Morocco.

The group, which continues to raise funds online, discusses the project in the interview below.

Why is it important for you to engage in this project?

McCain: As someone with strong personal ties to Morocco, I was thrilled when I heard about Sam’s project proposal—and I was crossing my fingers all along that she would get the grant. As the world has recently learned, there’s a lot of dissatisfaction in Arab and North African countries where youth have felt powerless and ignored. But when you come up with ways to engage with youth, like Sam has done, it becomes possible to teach them the skills and self-respect they need to better not just their own lives but the lives of their countrymen and women. I think that it is projects like Sam’s that will help build a stronger, more just, more peaceful Morocco. Sam has honored Lewis & Clark students by inviting us to join her in helping to build a better world for tomorrow.

How will this experience draw on your previous experiences engaging communities on issues of diversity and cultural competency?

Stein: Over the past four years at Lewis & Clark, I have learned a great deal from my professors about global inequalities, social theory, Middle East politics, and numerous other subjects. However, my time in the classroom was always illuminated by my interactions with students from a diverse array of backgrounds and the many opportunities on campus to get involved with offices, clubs, and events that aim to celebrate multiculturalism and promote cultural competency. I will also be able to build upon the skills I gained through interning with Interpeace by implementing my own peace initiative over the summer months.

Part of the project idea is to create an add-on international service component to LC’s study abroad programs, where LC students will have the opportunity to return every summer to the cultural center in order to facilitate large-scale workshops and build strong relationships with Moroccan youth and educators. I hope that this opportunity helps to continue LC’s legacy of a commitment to international service and engagement in social justice issues.

Why do you think international service an important part of a Lewis & Clark education?

Nazzal: International travel and service is important for Lewis & Clark students in several ways. As we know, more than half of the student body participates in study abroad programs at least once during their time at Lewis & Clark. Living abroad is absolutely vital for understanding one’s culture, customs, and languages. Engaging in “Tools for Tolerance” will not only allow student interns to gain experience with non-profit and developmental work, but it will also allow us to further our understanding with an Arabic-speaking country. By participating in this project, we are stressing the importance of cross-cultural exchange. International engagement, particularly in the Arab world, can help Lewis & Clark students deepen their awareness and, most importantly, contribute to the closing of the gap between the East and the West. In addition, working internationally can open many doors for careers and contacts for the future!

 

   Science alumnae honored by NSF for potential as leaders

Two Lewis & Clark alumni received prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships for demonstrating promise as leaders in their fields. The NSF offers fellows three years of support for graduate studies, investing in the education of outstanding students who have the potential to contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering.

undefinedRebecca Duncan ’06 will study physiology at the University of Miami, building on her exceptional undergraduate work in the field of biology. With her research mentors–Greta Binford, assistant professor of biology, and Kellar Autumn, professor and chair of biology–Duncan researched the role that hair morphology plays in retaining sand on the surface of spiders. The resulting paper on this work was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences and highlighted in the premier journal Nature. Application of this discovery could lead to improved designs for materials used in military camouflage and air filtration systems, for example, or even in household dusting tools. Read more about Duncan.

tamma_croppedTamma Carleton ’09, who also received a 2011 Rhodes Scholarship, will begin her NSF fellowship after she returns from the University of Oxford. At Oxford, Carleton will continue her formal economics training while gaining a broader perspective in environmental change, an issue that has become increasingly important to her. She plans to earn two master’s degrees from Oxford: one in environmental change and management, and another in economics for development. When she returns to the United States, her NSF fellowship will support her pursuit of a Ph.D. in economics at Yale University. Read more about Carleton.

Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $10,500 cost-of-education allowance for tuition and fees. Since 1952, NSF has funded more than 46,500 Graduate Research Fellowships out of more than 500,000 applicants.

In 2010, eight Lewis & Clark alumni received NSF fellowships. Learn about their diverse scientific pursuits in this story.

 

   Recent alumnus receives fellowship for aspiring teachers of color

aukeemAukeem Ballard ’11 is the first Lewis & Clark student to receive the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color. This year, 25 individuals received the fellowship, which seeks to help recruit, support, and retain individuals of color as public school teachers in the United States.

“A quality education for all children in hopes of an engaged and knowledgeable citizenry is one prospect for which the WW-RBF Fellowship works tirelessly,” he said. “I consider it a rare privilege and distinct honor to be among the ranks of WW-RBF Fellows.”

Ballard, a communications major from Tacoma, Washington, will receive a $30,000 stipend to use toward his education. Of the 28 graduate programs selected as partners for the fellowship, he has decided to attend Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

The fellowship aims to counteract current trends that indicate that within a decade the percentage of teachers of color will fall to an all-time low of five percent of the total teacher force, while the percentage of students of color in the K-12 system will likely near 50 percent.

 

   Alumna receives fellowship to prepare for foreign service

lila wadeLila Wade ’10 has been awarded the Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship, an impressive fellowship that funds graduate school for two years to prepare the recipient academically and professionally to enter the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service.

Wade credits her Lewis & Clark education and overseas experiences with deepening her interest in a career in the foreign service.

“The personal connections and academic insights I gained overseas galvanized my desire to pursue work at the cross-section of development and diplomacy,” she said.

Wade will complete her fellowship at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she will concentrate on political and economic development with a specialization in advanced economic and policy analysis. 

“The trifecta of academics, extra-curricular activities, and overseas opportunities at Lewis & Clark enhanced my identification as a citizen in a global community,” she said. “Given the school’s reputation as an institution that nurtures multiculturalism, it was not a shock to find its student body well-traveled and versed in global affairs. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the engagement and vivaciousness that many of my peers displayed in their exploration of racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural issues. In my classes and in my friendships, I benefited intellectually through my peers’ research, volunteer work, and professional endeavors. Their passion and commitment challenged me to pursue and expand my own personal goals.”

The Pickering seeks outstanding students who enroll in two-year master’s degree programs in public policy, international affairs, public administration, or academic fields such as business, economics, political science, sociology, or foreign languages; who represent all ethnic, racial, and social backgrounds; and who have an interest in pursuing a foreign service career in the U.S. Department of State. The fellowship will offer financial support of up to $40,000 annually for two years of graduate school.

 

   Alumnus awarded elite international scholarship

Betto van Waarden ’10 has received the Huygens Scholarship, the most prestigious scholarship in the Netherlands. The scholarship will support his work at Cambridge University, where he will pursue a master of philosophy in political thought and intellectual history.

betto van waardenThe highly competitive Huygens program selected 150 scholarship recipients out of approximately 1,700 applicants this year. Though the scholarship is typically offered only to students who completed undergraduate work at a Dutch university, van Waarden received an exception based on his robust education at Lewis & Clark. Though he originally came to campus on a one-year Fulbright-sponsored fellowship, van Waarden chose to enroll and complete his degree in the history department.

During his senior year, van Waarden discussed his extensive travels and his interest in themes of globalization and the exchange of ideas across cultures. Read an excerpt from the profile below.

What do you like about studying history at Lewis & Clark?

My broad interest brought me to the liberal arts. I wanted to pursue many social disciplines and realized that the study of history encompasses these different disciplines. For instance, if I study and work with political or economic theories, I want to understand what they were based on, how they developed, and how they actually function in reality. I enjoy working with theories, and the study of history allows me to maintain contact with the real-life impacts of these theories.

Like so many students at Lewis & Clark, you’ve traveled extensively. Even deciding to move to Portland from your home in the Netherlands must have been a huge journey. Can you share a bit about your background and explain why you think global engagement is important?

I was born in Holland and moved to Germany when I was two years old. In my childhood, cultural and linguistic differences were natural to me, but I also learned early on that cultures and people are more similar than different. Back in Holland, I went to a bilingual Dutch-English high school. I biked 13 kilometers to get there every morning, rather than going to a gymnasia around the corner from my house. Through the bilingual program, I traveled to England, Germany, Norway, Botswana, and Canada. Canada was the biggest culture shock: not because of the society itself, but because I went to a small Christian school there—religion perhaps feeling more foreign to the modern Northern European than African lions and rhinos do. Nevertheless, I greatly enjoyed the experience and learned valuable insights into the modern Christian way of life.

After a gap year in Brazil, the Fulbright Center in Amsterdam brought me to Lewis & Clark. I like the liberal arts idea of educating students in multiple disciplines, as I believe that these disciplines are interconnected. The same goes for global engagement, which is why the College’s focus on international experiences and projects is valuable. Especially in an increasingly fast-paced and globalized world, people must be flexible and learn to think critically and from different points of view. Both a broad education and global engagement are important to the exchange of viewpoints and expertise. Opportunities at the College—such as the 100 Projects for Peace experience that three fellow students and I shared in Brazil—allow students to put the knowledge and skills they learn in college into practice and connect with the rest of the world.

The complex world of the 21st century, with its growing population and increasingly scarce resources, demands that people cooperate. The current economic crisis once again demonstrates the interconnectedness of our societies. We live in this world together, so we must work together. And Lewis & Clark is a great place to learn how to start doing so.

 

   Students receive scholarships for international study

Two Lewis & Clark students received Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships to support their participation in overseas programs during fall 2011. The program awards up to $5,000 to undergraduates for whom financial limitations might make it difficult to pursue academic studies abroad.

The program aims to encourage students to choose non-traditional study abroad destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe: Miranda Benson ’13 will participate in the College’s study abroad program in India, while Destiny Fox ’13 will participate in the Japan program.

The Gilman Scholarship was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000 to support international study and better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.

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