Senior Profiles: Fellowships and Grants

Serena Runyan

Lauren Kutler '12. Photos by Devika Doowa.
Lauren Kutler ’13. Photos by Devika Doowa.

Lauren Kutler will travel to Boston University next year to take classes and student-teach as a part of the Math for America program. Math for America is a private nonprofit organization that will allow Kutler to take math and education classes at Boston University for a year to receive her master’s degree, and then will aid her in finding a four-year teaching job at a high school around the area. “I really liked this program because of how it prepares you to be a teacher. One of the aims of the program is to improve the quality of math teaching in the country by attracting students to become teachers who are good at math.” With her double major of philosophy and math from Whitman, Kutler will apply her passion towards a new kind of educational process. “A lot of people are drawn to math or hate it because they think that there is one right answer, and I think unpacking what that means and why we think that will lead to understanding of how mathematical knowledge is understood.”

Lian Caspi '12
Lian Caspi ’13

Before psychology major Lian Caspi takes on her Watson Fellowship, she will also do work with the Davis Fellowship for Peace with senior Alex Brott in Israel, with a focus on conflict resolution. “[We will focus on] music as a way of conflict resolution, working with Arab and Jewish populations. [I will be] trying to bring some groups that already do this together in certain events, to share resources and also get to know each other, and involve the community in music and speaking about conflict.” In August, Caspi will study music therapy in five different African countries with the Watson Fellowship. “[It’s an] exploration of music therapy and how culture and the music from a place interacts within the therapy, how they use it with different populations in different places, to get a more holistic understanding of music therapy. When I started thinking about the project, I got really excited about the process of creating a project … to design my own, where I’m motivated by myself. I’m excited about therapy, but what kind of therapy is a different question. This is a way to merge two of my biggest passions and see if this is the right way to combine them.”

Cory Rand '13
Cory Rand ’13

In the fall, politics major Cory Rand will head to St. Louis for the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, which is “a nine-month long leadership training program as well as an introduction to the public affairs arena. Throughout the course, I’ll have field placements with an NGO, labor organization, electoral campaign and the state or federal government. I decided to apply for the fellowship because it seems designed for people like me: I want to be part a larger effort to achieve political and socioeconomic equality in the United States, but I have no idea where or how to do this. The Coro Fellowship will give me an opportunity to explore the many different channels through which change can occur. I think my experiences at Whitman were instrumental in my decision to apply for Coro, as well as my ultimate acceptance into the program. The leadership opportunities I’ve had at Whitman, including leading Scrambles, OP Trips, teaching climbing classes and being a captain on Whitman’s cross country team, helped me develop the communication and leadership skills that Coro values. Keith Raether worked closely with me throughout the Coro application process; I could not have gotten the position without his help. Varsity Nordic … helped me pretend I was carefree and relaxed.”