The Center for International Education is proud to announce that Dylan Hunziker, a sociology major, has been awarded a 2014-15 Watson Fellowship. Dylan expresses that, “I have been waiting for an opportunity like the Watson ever since I opened my first Chinese book nine years ago.” His proposal, “Tip of the Tongue: Language Balancing Among the Chinese Diaspora” will take him far from his Missouri home to China and the Chinese diaspora around the world to learn about Chinese communities and their relationship to the Chinese language with its various dialects.
In addition to Huniziker, three other Berea College students were nominated to the national slate for the 2014-2015 Watson Fellowship. Fewer than 160 graduating seniors from 40 institutions are nominated nationwide for this esteemed prize. Berea College is the only school in the Commonwealth from which The Watson Fellowship accepts candidates.
The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, named after the founder of International Business Machines (IBM), offers graduating college seniors of “unusual promise” the opportunity to engage in one year of independent exploration and travel outside the United States. Its goals are to enhance the capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, openness, and leadership, and to foster humane and effective participation in the world community—in short, to develop future leaders who are self-reflective, well-informed, mindful citizens of the world. Each year, 40 winners of The Watson receive $28,000 each.
Lesley Sneed of Campbellsville, Kentucky, is eager to pursue her passion for clean water and the protection of mussel populations around the world. With her background in agriculture and natural resources and her enthusiasm for community service, Lesley plans to visit Costa Rica, Belize, Guyana, and Brazil. She is excited about “connecting with local people on all levels of water quality and finding out…what they expect for the future.”
Letter writing is the passion that propels Janice D’Souza, from Mangalore, India, to countries as diverse as Italy, Malaysia, Finland, and others in order to experience this art in multiple cultures. Janice plans to shadow rural postmen in Bangladesh, as well as participate first-hand in responding to love letters to Juliet in Italy and letters to Santa in Scandinavia. She hopes to bring her year to completion with a book of letters compiled to convey the healing power of letter writing.
Originally from Maryland, Grace Wintermyer commits her “Wanderjahr” to exploring national school lunch programs in France, Italy, and Japan. Deeply involved in sustainable food production and nutrition on a local level, Grace is excited about the chance to search out the healthy development happening in these countries within the school systems. Her words embody the passion that the Watson Fellowship is all about: “After years of working hard in school to answer all the questions expected of me, I am so honored and excited to have a chance at exploring my OWN questions and experiences, all over the globe!