Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Seniors to embark on post-grad study with awards

Top row, left to right: Marty Skeels, Thomas Bugert; Bottom Row, left to right: Aisha Fukushima, Musa Kpaka, Katrina Barlow, Jason Shon, Kaston Griffin. Credit: Zipparo
Top row, left to right: Marty Skeels, Thomas Bugert; Bottom Row, left to right: Aisha Fukushima, Musa Kpaka, Katrina Barlow, Jason Shon, Kaston Griffin. Credit: Zipparo

Every year, Whitman students continue to earn awards for post-graduate study, and this year is no exception. Years of hard work and drive propel Whitman students to pursue top awards around the country, like the Watson Fellowship (senior Aisha Fukushima) and Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  

The Watson is one of the most innovative and independent fellowships and winner Aisha Fukushima, will be traveling around the world after graduation to study raptivism (the marriage of hip hop and social activism) with the stipend of $25,000 that the award provides. She was the only recipient from a Northwest school.  

In one of the most competitive years on record, Whitman was the only school to have three Udall Scholars. Juniors Lisa Curtis, Elena Gustafson and Camila Thorndike received this award which honors Congressman Morris King Udall’s 30-year legacy of public service.

“All of these awards, even if they apply for them as juniors or sophomores, go towards graduate study or they will be carried out after they graduated,” said Keith Raether, Interim Director Post Baccalaureate Fellowships and Scholarships.  

Some students were multiple winners, with Curtis and Thorndike also selected as national finalists for the prestigious Truman scholarship, which recognizes juniors who have leadership potential and want to pursue careers in government or public service.  

Whitman Winners    

Fellowship, scholarship and grant awards 2008-09, as available at press deadline

Fulbright Grant
Corinne Gibbon ’06
David Blanchard ’09 (finalist)
Asteria Valusek ’09 (finalist)

Watson Fellowship
Aisha Fukushima ’09

Udall Scholarship
Lisa Curtis ’10
Elena Gustafson ’10
Camila Thorndike ’10

Truman Scholarship
Lisa Curtis ’10 (finalist)
Camila Thorndike ’10 (finalist)

Princeton in Asia Fellowship
Greg Eiselt ’09 (China)
Jill Laney ’09 (finalist)
Marty Skeels ’09 (Vietnam)

Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship
Manuel Mora ’10

Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship
Tim Shadix ’09

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Jackson Cahn ’10

Monterey Institute Davis United World College Fellowship
Musa Kpaka ’09

Davis Projects for Peace
Jesse Phillips ’09 and Curt Bowen ’09

Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme
Katrina Barlow ’09
Thomas Bugert ’09
Kaston Griffin ’09
Kyle Pereira ’09
Jason Shon ’09
Reese Ishmael ’09 (alternate)
Michelle Kwon ’09 (alternate)
Brigitte Woods ’09 (alternate)

Other awards provide students with the opportunity to teach or study domestically and internationally, like the Monterey Institute Davis United World College Fellowship received by senior Musa Kpaka to study international development in Washington D.C. this summer. Junior Jackson Cahn, recipient of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, will be working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland this summer.  

Some students will be traveling abroad to Asia. Among these are five seniors, Katrina Barlow, Thomas Bugert, Kaston Griffin, Kyle Pereira, and Jason Shon, who were selected to the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET).  

“It is one of the less risky English teaching programs in Japan because it is run by the Japanese government.  It is also one of the most well-known teaching programs for foreigners in Japan (at least in America, to my knowledge),” said Pereira.

Seniors Greg Eiselt and Marty Skeels won Princeton in Asia Fellowships which will take them to China and Vietnam, respectively, to increase cross-cultural understanding between Asians and Americans.  

Alumna Corinne Gibbon, ’06, won a Fulbright English teaching assistantship to Vietnam, and seniors Asteria Valusek and David Blanchard were finalists to the Fulbright U.S. Scholars program. As finalists, the Fulbright national committee recommended them to their country of choice but since space and grants are limited in each country, not everyone gets to study in their country of choice. However, the status of finalist is a great achievement in itself.  

These are just a few of the awards won by Whitman students this year. Students can find out more about these opportunities through the Fellowships and Grants office as well as through faculty.

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