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Two Pomona Seniors Awarded Prestigious Watson Fellowships

Two Pomona College students have been awarded the prestigious Watson Fellowship for a year of independent exploration and travel outside the United States.

Tony Tiu and Jacqueline Wong-Hernandez are recipients of the one-year grant. The award is given each year to 50 graduating seniors at one of 50 participating private liberal arts colleges and universities. Each fellow is awarded $22,000 for the year of travel and study.

“I’m very thankful that they chose to give me the award because there were a lot of qualified people who applied,” says Tiu.

Tiu, of Walnut, Calif., will document in story and photographs the Chinese immigrant experience in Germany, Spain, France, Peru, South Africa and Australia. His winning independent study project is titled “Chinatown Around the World: Chinese Diaspora Through Stories and Photographs.”

Wong-Hernandez, of Sacramento, Calif., will investigate folk medicine in Mexico, Guatamala, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia for her project, titled “Needing to Know: An Exploration of Curanderas, Fear, and My Grandmother.”

The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program was begun in 1968 by the children of Thomas J. Watson Sr., the founder of IBM Corporation, and his wife, Jeannette K. Watson, to honor their parents' longstanding interest in education and world affairs.

More than 1,000 students applied for the 50 fellowships awarded this year. In addition to the Pomona award-winners, one student each from Harvey Mudd, Pitzer and Scripps was awarded a Watson Fellowship this year.