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Spring 2008 Fellowship Round-Up

The spring is rife with fellowships and grants for Pomona juniors and seniors. Not all fellowship and grant announcements have been made yet, but here's a rundown of what's been announced so far

Thomas J. Watson Fellowships

Brendan J. McCollam and Michael Stout were awarded the prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, which provides $25,000 to graduating seniors to follow their research bliss via world travel. Michael Stout ’08, a mathematical economics major, is following his interest in Ultimate Frisbee to South America and Australia to “observe the sport culture and masculinity that surrounds the self-officiated ‘spirit of the game’ ideal of Ultimate [Frisbee].” Stout, who plays on the Claremont College men’s Ultimate Frisbee team, the Braineaters, says he’s looking forward most to the open-endedness of the trip and “throwing myself into completely new and foreign surroundings and seeing what happens. I don’t know much of what I should expect or how I’ll be received or what I’ll find, but that’s the most exciting thing to me.”

For McCollam, a neuroscience major, the Watson was a goal as soon as he learned of it; speaking to Watson winner Laurel McFadden ’06 after her trip to the Arctic Circle cinched his desire for the fellowship. McCollam plans to travel to The Netherlands, Germany, France, Croatia, Slovenia, Mexico, Argentina and Chile to study the free software movement for his project, “Coding the Revolution: Discovering a Radical Philosophy in Free Software.” McCollam has always been interested in computers—he’s worked in ITS—but a recent use of the Linux OS led to his interest in “free software and the philosophy behind it. The groups [I’m going to visit and work with] are involved in various ways with developing or promoting free software and, in some cases, general technology-focused activism.” McCollam plans to apply for grad school upon his return from his trip.


Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color

Ikeisha Daniels and Candice McCray received the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color. Awarded to only 25 juniors nationwide each year, the fellowship includes financial support for a master’s degree and teaching credential, funding for an independent summer project and conference between junior and senior year, and loan forgiveness for the first three years of teaching in public schools.

Daniels is a double major in history and Black studies from Chicago. She is a member of Pomona’s first Posse group, and is currently studying abroad in Durban, South Africa. McCray, a Black studies major from Los Angeles, plans to teach junior high English or history. “Teaching has always been something I was passionate about. Also, I realize that there is a strong need for teachers of color in our schools,” says McCray. “Teaching is my way of giving back to the community and being an agent for change, and it’s a profession where my politics and personality can meet.


National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Current students Ian Frank ’08, Bob Rawle 08 and Dan Hickstein ’07 have all been offered National Science Foundation awards for graduate study in their respective fields (physics for Frank, and chemistry for Rawle and Hickstein). Hickstein is currently completing his year as a Churchill Scholar at Cambridge University. Frank plans on doing his graduate studies at Harvard, Rawle at Standford, and Hickstein at University of Colorado at Boulder.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship provides three years of support for graduate study in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Eight Pomona alumni already enrolled in Ph.D. programs also received NSF awards. These alumni include:

  • Peter Cook '03, cognitive psychology, UC Santa Cruz
  • Peter Douglas '05, geological sciences, Yale
  • Jessica Hammock '04, science education, Emory
  • Diana Khuu '07, sociology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Erica Lanni '06, organic chemistry, University of Michigan
  • Tyler Moore '04, quantitative psychology, UCLA
  • Audra Nemir '05, environmental engineering, UC Berkeley
  • Kristen Skovbroten '06, psycholinguistics, University of Rochester

Three current Pomona students received honorable mentions:
Laura Rosen '08 (molecular biology), James Tener '08 (mathematics), and Laura Enriquez '08 (sociology and history).

Seven Pomona alumni already enrolled in their Ph.D. programs also received honorable mentions: Emily Knouf '07 (molecular biology, University of Washington), Karen Ring '07 (biomedical sciences, UC San Francisco), Daniel Kleinman '06 (psycholinguistics, UC San Diego), Emily Barkley-Levenson '06 (cognitive neuroscience, UCLA), Lauren Shaw '06 (public policy, UC Davis),  James McFarland '06 (biophysics, Brown University), and Anna Motschenbacher '03 (biogeochemistry, UC Berkeley).