Tag: honor

Megan Brown Awarded U.S. State Dept. Critical Language Scholarship

Lawrence University student Megan Brown has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Arabic this summer at the American Center for Oriental Research in Amman, Jordan.

A senior linguistics major from Saginaw, Mich., Brown was among 575 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students awarded one of the state department’s critical language scholarships. She was selected from among nearly 5,300 applications.

Beginning June 13, Brown will spend 10 weeks in Jordan in a personalized, intensive language curriculum as well as various cultural activities. The scholarship covers all expenses during the 10-week program and includes a $1,000 stipend.

Megan Brown

Brown, who has studied Chinese and French in addition to one year of Arabic at Lawrence, says “accurate communication is more essential than ever before due to the growing globalization of the world and the growth of the information industry.” She hopes to eventually work for the U.S. Department of State as a foreign service officer and work “for more integrated international relations.”

The CLS program was launched in 2006 to increase opportunities for American students to study critical-need languages overseas and expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical-need languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian Japanese, Korean, Persian, Russian, Indic (Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu) and Turkic (Turkish and Azerbaijani).

Harrison Symposium Showcases Student Research

With subjects ranging from capitalism in contemporary China, to red-haired women featured in the paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, to building a better oarsman, the Harrison Symposium recognizes the outstanding research done by Lawrence students in the humanities and social sciences.  The 13th annual Harrison symposium will be held Saturday, May 15, 2010, in Lawrence University’s Main Hall.  Presenters are nominated by faculty and invited to submit abstracts of their research papers.  Based on the abstracts, students are selected to present their work at the symposium in the format used for professional meetings of scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

Welcome Reception
8:45  Light Refreshments – Strange Commons in Main Hall
9:00  Welcome by Provost and Dean of the Faculty, David Burrows

Session One: Panel A, Main Hall 201
Moderator: Professor Barrett
9:15   Kelsey Platt: “Space for the Individual”
9:45   Melody Moberg: “Radically Subversive Domesticity: The True Implications of Rachel Halliday’s Kitchen”
10:15  Alicia Bones: “Aunt Jemima and Aunt Chloe: Moving Within and Outside of the Mammy Myth”

Session One: Panel B, Main Hall 211
Moderator:  Professor Tsomu
9:15   Lindsey Ahlen: “The Impact of Local Media on West African Political Systems and Figures”
9:45   Carolyn Schultz: “Managing Crises: The Arab-Israeli Conflict from the Perspectives of the Johnson and Nixon Administrations”
10:15  Jihyun Shin: “Capitalism in Contemporary China”

Session One: Panel C, Main Hall 216
Moderator:  Professor Carlson
9:15   Marie Straquadine: “Objects of Desire: Women with Red Hair in Rossetti’s Paintings”
9:45   Sarah Young: “Shamanism or “Stubborn Rationality”: Joseph Beuys and the Dilemma of Post-War German Masculinity”
10:15  Dani Simandl: “Girls Gone Wild, String Instrument-Style: Performing Instrumental Music for a Popular Culture”

Session One: Panel D, Main Hall 401
Moderator:  Professor Frederick
9:15   Elizabeth Nerland: “No Middle Ground: The Rise and Fall of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee”
9:45   Caitlin Williamson: “Ojibwe and Canis lupus: cultural, historical, and political influences on contemporary wolf management in the Great Lakes region”
10:15  Gustavo Guimaraes: “Latin American Ethnicity; Not So “Black and White”

Session One: Panel E, Main Hall 404
Moderator:  Professor Williams
9:15   Nicholas Miller: “Building a Better Oarsman: Conceptual Integration and Motor Learning in Rowing Instruction”
9:45   Madeline Herdeman: “Cognitive Models and the Partisan Divide: A Study of the Debate over Health Care Reform”
10:15  Alex Macartney: “A Democratic Purge?: The United States and the Denazification of Austria, 1945 – 1950”

Session Two: Panel A, Main Hall 201
Moderator:  Professor Thomas
11:00  Nicolas Watt: “Ethics in Dostoevsky: A Narrative Analysis of The Idiot”
11:30  John Bettridge: “Tabari, Ghazali and Qutb: The Development of Modern Qur’anic Exegesis”
12:00  Christopher McGeorge: “Subverting Morality: Idealization in Victorian  Art and Literature” ~ 2009 Harrison Award Winner

Session Two: Panel B, Main Hall 211
Moderator:  Professor Vilches
11:00  Jennifer Gabriele: “Federico García Lorca: La obra escrita y plástica de Poeta en Nueva York y la autorrepresentación polifacética”
11:30  Elizabeth Hoffman: “La maternidad, el espacio público y feminismo: Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo”
12:00  Matthew Ingram: “La Construcción del Género: La Lucha Lingüística entre la Biología y la Identidad Social”

Session Two: Panel C, Main Hall 216
Moderator:  Professor Jenike
11:00  Rebecca Hayes: “Misconstruing Misogyny: Reworking the Witchcraft Trials of Early Modern Europe Beyond the Limits of Second Wave Feminism”
11:30  Harjinder Bedi: “Social Poetry of Adzogbo: Context and Meaning of a West African War Dance”
12:00  Michael Korcek: “Drag Kinging in Amsterdam: Queer identity politics, subcultural spaces, and transformative potentials”

Session Two: Panel D, Main Hall 401
Moderator:  Professor Rico
11:00 Katie Van Marter-Sanders: “The Various Reinterpretations of the Sultana Tragedy”
11:30  Jennifer Roesch: “The Hindenburg: A Disaster Waiting to Happen”
12:00  Kaye Herranen: “Artists’ Responses to the Firebombing of Dresden”

$25,000 Watson Fellowship Sending Alex Winter to Asia for Video Game Culture Study

Alex Winter

Alex Winter got his first taste of video gaming as a five-year old, playing “Sim City” at home in his father’s attic office with his dad. He’s been hooked ever since.

“Video games have been a part of my life my entire life,” said the Lawrence University senior, who soon will turn his life-long affection for gaming into a year-long study of the social phenomenon of the video game culture in East Asia.

Winter was one of 40 undergraduates nationally awarded a $25,000 fellowship from the Rhode Island-based Thomas J. Watson Foundation for a year of independent travel and exploration outside the United States on a topic of the student’s choosing. Winter, whose proposal —“Video Game Culture Studies in East Asia, Korea, China, Japan” — was selected from among 150 finalists representing 40 of the nation’s premier private liberal arts colleges and universities. More than 820 students applied for this year’s Watson Fellowship.

Interactive entertainment — gaming — has grown exponentially since the primitive days of “Pong.” According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, interactive entertainment earned $41.9 billion in 2007 and is anticipated to surpass music revenue by 2011.

As it has evolved, interactive entertainment has moved away from the one game/one player model toward entire communities of players who are brought together through the game itself, creating an international digital community with a unique subculture.

“Video gaming is creating its own, unique traditions every day,” said Winter, a biology major from Seattle, Wash. “Chief among them is a social, cultural network that circles the globe without regard for national boundaries or languages. The interactive entertainment industry is poised to change the world as profoundly as the Internet. We’re standing on the brink of a cultural revolution and now is the perfect time to study this infant culture.”

Winter will use his fellowship to visit China, Japan and South Korea, where the video game community holds mainstream positions much the same way Americans treat sports.

“I intend to spend time studying cyber athleticism, performance, economics and addiction in places where they are exceptionally visible, such as Internet cafes, gaming centers, arenas and conventions,” said Winter. “I want to immerse myself in the culture, performing observational studies and interviews whenever possible.”

Starting in mid-July, Winter will travel first to Hong Kong, the center of a unique economy in which real money is exchanged for goods that exist only inside the video game world. The next five months will be spent in Japan, home to three of the largest interactive entertainment publishers: Nintendo, Sony and Sega.

“The most accomplished players in Japan draw crowds of admirers, which is a fundamentally different style of video gaming than what is practiced here in the states,” said Winter. “Players compete against both the computer and the previous player in what might be called ‘video game performance art.’ I want to explore the motivations of those who perform and those who come to watch this unique style of entertainment.”

In January, Winter will travel to Beijing, home to the only state-sponsored video game addiction recovery center in the world. He plans to meet the doctors who treat the patients whose attachment to video games is near dependence levels and the video gamers themselves to explore how their addiction grew, how it affected their life and what led them to counseling.

During an ensuing five-month stay in South Korea, where competitions with prizes as high as $500,000 are nationally televised events, Winter will explore the country’s specialized Internet cafes and the phenomenon of cyber athletes.

“The possibilities for learning about and embracing my gamer self in a country that lauds its players are exciting and endless,” said Winter.

He will return to China in July 2011 to close his study in Shanghai, which boasts an exceptionally high number of gamers.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the interplay of traditional Chinese culture and interactive gaming in Shanghai,” said Winter.” “Of the three Chinese cities on my itinerary, Shanghai is the most traditional. Its collision and merger with state-of-the-art interactive entertainment will be a telling testament to the phenomenon of merging cultures.”

Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory of music, served as Lawrence’s campus liaison to the Watson program this year. He said Winter will break “new ground” with his fellowship.

“His project is different. It’s exploring areas that haven’t been tackled by any previous Watson fellows,” said Pertl, a 1986 Watson Fellowship recipient himself as a student at Lawrence. “Alex’s passion for this topic as a scholar and as a participant in social gaming gives him the perfect background for this award. I’m confident he’ll come back with some deep insights and fantastic experiences.”

Winter sees his project not as a departure from his study of biology, but rather an extension of it.

“A background in biological science is fundamentally an education in methodical parsing of cause and effect,” said Winter. “Human culture can be examined as a complex system with confounding factors. My background in science gives me a scaffold on which to build this study and dig into the new sociological frontier presented by East Asian gaming.”

Winter is the 67th Lawrence student awarded a Watson Fellowship since the program’s inception in 1969. It was established by the children of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of International Business Machines Corp., and his wife, Jeannette, to honor their parents’ long-standing interest in education and world affairs.

Watson Fellows are selected on the basis of the nominee’s character, academic record, leadership potential, willingness to delve into another culture and the personal significance of the project proposal. Since its founding, nearly 2,600 fellowships have been awarded.

Service Learning Efforts Earn Lawrence University National Honor Roll Recognition

For the fourth consecutive year, Lawrence University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

Lawrence is one of only four Wisconsin institutions named to the Community Service Honor Roll every year since the program was launched in 2006. This year’s honor roll, announced by the Corporation for National and Community Service, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice in 2009.

“Preparing students for lives of responsible citizenship is a tenet of a Lawrence education and I am gratified that the dedicated efforts of our students here in our community and elsewhere once again have earned national recognition,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck. “I commend the students on their efforts to impact the greater community in a positive manner during their time here, as well as our Pieper Professor of Servant Leadership and the other faculty and staff members who assist them in those efforts.”

Honorees for the 2010 President’s Community Service Honor Roll were chosen on a series of factors, including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

In the past year, more than 600 Lawrence students contributed more than 12,000 service hours to service-learning and volunteer programs. Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was recognized was the establishment of a partnership with the Pragati Foundation in Bangalore, India, for summer teaching opportunities with underprivileged middle school students; the Confidence and Determination in Youth (CADY) student organization which provides younger students an inspirational, college-like experience in learning; and the Lawrence Assistance Reaching Youth (LARY) Buddies, a mentoring program for at-risk elementary students.

“Our students are contributing literally thousands of hours of volunteer service on behalf of others in both our own Fox Valley community as well on the global stage, all within the confines of a rigorous academic program,” said Alan Parks, Lawrence’s Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of the college’s Office for Engaged Learning. “We’re seeing annual increases in service hours by our students which makes it all the more gratifying that those efforts are being recognized nationally through the President’s Community Service Honor Roll.”

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service in 2009. The Corporation’s Learn and Serve America program supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations.

The President’s Community Service Honor Roll is compiled by the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education.

Lawrence Molecular Biologist Named to Genetics Society of America Board of Directors

Beth De Stasio, professor of biology and Raymond H. Herzog Professor of Science, has been elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Genetics Society of America.


In announcing her appointment, the GSA cited De Stasio’s commitment to “training undergraduate students — both majors and non-majors in science — to become more conversant and comfortable in understanding recent advances in biology.”

A 1983 graduate of Lawrence, De Stasio joined the Lawrence faculty in 1992 under the auspices of a $700,000 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to establish the college’s first program in molecular biology. Her research interests focus on muscle function and the maintenance of nerve function during aging. She was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship in 2009 to conduct research at the Karolinska Institutet near Stockholm, Sweden.

Founded in 1931, the Genetics Society of America is the professional membership organization for geneticists and science educators. With more than 4,000 members, the GSA works to advance knowledge in the basic mechanisms of inheritance, from the molecular to the population level. It promotes research in genetics and facilitates communication among geneticists worldwide on current and cutting-edge topics in genetics research.

Lawrence University Art Historian Named American Council on Education Fellow

APPLETON, WIS. — Lawrence University Professor of Art History Michael Orr has been named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for 2009-10. Orr was one of 42 fellows selected from nominations by college and university presidents or chancellors in a national competition.

Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration.

“The ACE Fellowship is a great honor, both for Professor Orr and for Lawrence,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck. “Michael is an intellectually gifted and dedicated faculty member who has participated effectively in faculty governance at Lawrence and has great potential to offer academic and administrative leadership. The future of higher education depends upon developing outstanding leaders, and we are very pleased to be part of the ACE program.”

According to Sharon McDade, director of the ACE Fellows Program, most previous fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Of the more than 1,500 participants in the program’s history, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents or deans.

“I am honored to receive an ACE fellowship and am indebted to President Beck and Provost David Burrows for supporting my nomination,” said Orr. “I am excited at the prospect of participating in the ACE fellowship program and hope that it will challenge me personally and broaden my understanding of the place of the liberal arts college within American higher education.”

As an ACE Fellow, Orr will focus on an issue central to Lawrence while spending the 2009-10 academic year working with the president and other senior administrative officers at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

The ACE Fellows Program combines seminars, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year. The fellows are included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities and learning about an issue to benefit Lawrence.

During his fellowship, Orr will attend three week-long retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE, read extensively in the field and engage in other activities to enhance their knowledge about the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education today.

Orr, a specialist in medieval art and illuminated manuscripts, joined the Lawrence faculty in 1989. A past recipient of Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award (1992) and the Freshman Studies Teaching Prize (2006), he has worked as an exhibition consultant for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, Calif., and been awarded research and travel grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the British Academy.

He has co-authored three volumes in the Harvey Miller series “An Index of Images in English Manuscripts from the Time of Chaucer to Henry VIII” and recently completed book chapters on the hierarchies of decoration in English prayer books and the iconography of St. Anne.

Between 1998 and 2000, Orr co-chaired Lawrence’s Trustee Task Force on Student Residential Life and has served as chair of a number of other faculty committees, including the Tenure and Promotions Committee and the Faculty Committee on University Governance. He earned his bachelor’s degree in art history at University College London and his master’s and doctoral degrees in art history at Cornell University.

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.

Lawrence University’s Chiara Terzuolo Awarded Fulbright Research Fellowship to Japan

APPLETON, WIS. — Ever since she first began reading about Japan as a middle-school student, the island nation with its unique blend of time-honored traditions with the ultra modern and has held a special fascination for Chiara Terzuolo.


The Lawrence University senior will soon spend a year in her favorite country courtesy of the U.S. Fulbright Program. Terzuolo has been awarded a $30,000 Fulbright Scholar research fellowship for a 12-month study project beginning in September.

Terzuolo, who entered Lawrence as a vocal major in 2005 but will graduate in June with a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies, intends to explore how classical Western music and traditional Japanese music interact in a modern context during her year-long project.

“I want to see what similarities and contrasts may exist not only in teaching methods, but also in performance and social interactions between music students and professors,” said Terzuolo, who calls Rome, Italy, home. “I want to see what similarities and contrasts may exist not only in teaching methods, but also in performance and social interactions between music students and professors. I hope to discover how the two genres influence each other and what boundaries they may have set.”

As part of her exploration of the relationship between classical and traditional music, Terzuolo plans to take lessons on the koto, a 13-string zither-like instrument and one of Japan’s most traditional instruments for female musicians. Terzuolo was first exposed to the koto last spring, when she spent five months on a study-abroad program at Kanda University. As part of that program, she interned as a Shinto shrine maiden and got to practice the koto with the shrine’s sacred ensemble.

“That was an unbelievably rare experience, especially for someone who is not Japanese,” said Terzuolo. “Every hour I spent at the shrine was an education in Japanese social structure, language and music. I just knew I had to go back and that’s what led me to apply for the Fulbright.”

Terzuolo will use a Japanese conservatory as her research base. While the exact location is still to be determined, she most likely will live in either Osaka, Kyoto or Nagoya.

“Traditional musical training used to be the prerogative of a closed system of ‘iemoto,’ but Japanese conservatories are now offering courses in ‘hogaku’ (traditional music) alongside the usual Western-based options,” said Terzuolo, who counts Japanese among five languages that she speaks. “By basing myself at one of these music schools, I’ll have the opportunity to intensely study how the classical and traditional ‘worlds’ interact.”

The daughter of two former U.S. foreign service officers, Terzuolo has lived in a handful of cities around the world, including Paris and Prague, but it is Japan’s siren call that most intrigues her.

“This will be a great opportunity to study something I’m passionate about in the country where I most want to be,” said Terzuolo. “I eventually would like to work in the Japanese music scene and this could be the beginning of a career tied to Japan.”

Terzuolo is the second Lawrence student this spring to be named a Fulbright Scholar and the college’s 11th since 2001.

Created by Congress in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program. Since its founding, it has supported opportunities for nearly 300,000 American students, scholars and other professionals in more than 150 countries. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, CEOs, university presidents, professors and teachers. Thirty-seven Fulbright alumni have earned Nobel Prizes.

Lawrence University’s Hainze Named Fulbright Scholar, Will Teach English in Venezuela

APPLETON, WIS. — A study-abroad program in Argentina in 2007 provided Anna Hainze a taste of South American culture, but the Lawrence University senior from Whitefish Bay was looking for an opportunity to return and experience more.


That opportunity arrived in the mail recently when Hainze was named a Fulbright Scholar and awarded one of only three fellowships available in Venezuela. Beginning in September, Hainze will embark on a 10-month stay as a secondary school English teacher in either the capital city of Caracas, Maricaibo or Merida. Her city assignment will be finalized in late April.

“I had a positive experience in Argentina and when I investigated the Fulbright program, South America really appealed to me as a destination,” said Hainze, who will graduate in June with a major in Spanish and minors in Latin American studies, history and music. “I really enjoy teaching and thought this would be a great opportunity to see if that’s a career path I want to pursue.

“The fact that I’ve never been to Venezuela before makes this all the more exciting,” Hainze added. “It’s new territory for me. While I know what to expect and am looking forward to it, part of me is still a bit anxious.”

Hainze has served as a writing and Spanish tutor for the past three years in Lawrence’s Center for Teaching and Learning and volunteered as an after-school mentor for elementary-age students at Bruce Guadelupe School in Milwaukee while still in high school.

Unlike many Fulbright Scholar recipients who serve as language assistants, Hainze’s appointment will be a full-fledged teaching assignment with her own classroom.

“This will be much more of a teaching opportunity than some of the other Fulbright positions,” said Hainze. “I’m looking forward to seeing where this takes me. Hopefully, this experience will help show me where I want to go with my life.”

Hainze is the 10th Lawrence student since 2001 selected as a Fulbright Scholar.

Created by Congress in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program. Since its founding, it has supported opportunities for nearly 300,000 American students, scholars and other professionals in more than 150 countries. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, CEOs, university presidents, professors and teachers. Thirty-seven Fulbright alumni have earned Nobel Prizes.

Lawrence University Senior Awarded $28,000 Watson Fellowship to Find the Two “I”s in Indian

APPLETON, WIS. — Madhuri Vijay wants to violate the first rule of writing: write what you know.

Having spent the past four years as a student at Lawrence University, Vijay knows what it’s like to be an Indian living in the United States. But the senior from Bangalore, India, wants to explore what life is like for her countrymen living in other countries.

“I want to turn that rule on its head, travel the world and get to know the things I want to write about,” said Vijay. “I want to tell the stories of people like myself, people displaced from their native country, living in a vastly different one who are forging an identity that must inevitably come to terms with a double-history, a double life.”

Beginning in August, Vijay will embark on a year-long search for those stories as one of 40 national recipients of a $28,000 fellowship from the Rhode Island-based Thomas J. Watson Foundation. Vijay was selected for the fellowship from among 177 finalists. The Watson Fellowship supports a year of independent travel and exploration outside the United States on a topic of the student’s choosing. Vijay’s proposal was entitled “The Two ‘I’s in ‘Indian’: Writing the Stories of the Indian Diaspora.”

Nearly 1,000 students from 47 selective private liberal arts colleges and universities annually apply for the Watson Fellowship.

Vijay will use her fellowship to travel to Fiji, often referred to “Little India” because of its large Indian population, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which has had contact with India since the 15th century, Durban, South Africa, where Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi established the Phoenix Settlement for Indians who wanted to peacefully resist oppression, and finally Tanzania, which boasts two distinct Indian populations: one that was born and raised there and one that has recently arrived.

“In this ever-flattening world, Indians are found all over the world, but their stories have largely gone untold,” said Vijay, who will graduate in June with a degree in English and psychology. “As a writer and a social scientist, I have a fascination with people, cultures and identity. I would like to combine my two passions to produce a book of short stories about the lives of Indians around the world.”

Tim Spurgin, associate professor and Bonnie Glidden Buchanan Professor of English, who serves as Lawrence’s campus liaison to the Watson program, calls Vijay “a perfect choice” for a Watson Fellowship.

“Madhuri is bright, talented and basically fearless,” said Spurgin. “Not many college grads would attempt a project as ambitious as hers — and only a handful would be capable of pulling it off.”

During her global travels, Vijay will explore what Indian customs and traditions these people still cling to, what aspects of their new country they’ve embraced and how they balance the cultural line of being native Indian with being Tanzanian, Fijian or Malaysian.

“I realize that shared skin color and features are no longer enough to claim a kinship with Indians around the world,” said Vijay. “Writing stories of the people I’ll meet will allow me to understand the unique and multifaceted identities of the Indian diaspora. It will help me develop my own transcontinental identity as a woman from India, a student in America and a citizen of the world.”

In addition to helping define her own personal identity, Vijay sees her fellowship opportunity as a litmus test for her passionate, but largely unspoken, ambition of being a writer.

“I share the seed of self-doubt that plagues all aspiring writers: do I have stories worth telling? And do I have the words with which to tell them?,” said Vijay. “I believe that I do and I want to prove it. My fellowship will be nothing short of a journey of self-discovery, because at the end of it, I’ll know what my next step in life should be.”

If she wasn’t previously a believer in the axiom “first impressions are lasting impressions,” Vijay surely is now. The Watson selection committee started their interview process this year at Lawrence last November and Vijay was the very first of the 177 finalists to be screened.

Vijay is the 67th Lawrence student awarded a Watson Fellowship since the program’s inception in 1969. It was established by the children of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of International Business Machines Corp., and his wife, Jeannette, to honor their parents’ long-standing interest in education and world affairs.

“The awards are long-term investments in people, not research,” said Cleveland Johnson, director of the Watson Fellowship Program. “We look for people likely to lead or innovate in the future and give them extraordinary independence in pursuing their interests. They must have passion, creativity and a feasible plan. The Watson Fellowship affords an unequalled opportunity for global experiential learning.”

Watson Fellows are selected on the basis of the nominee’s character, academic record, leadership potential, willingness to delve into another culture and the personal significance of the project proposal. Since its founding, nearly 2,600 fellowships have been awarded.

Lawrence University Concert Choir Performing at National Choral Convention

APPLETON, WIS. — The Lawrence University Concert Choir, under the direction of Richard Bjella, will enjoy a pair of spotlight moments when it performs March 7 at the American Choral Directors’ Association national convention in Oklahoma City. With more than 20,000 members, the ACDA is the world’s largest choral organization and several thousand choral leaders of the nation’s best choirs will be attending the convention.

Lawrence was selected from nearly 300 performance applications from choirs around the country. Only 20 choirs were selected for performances during the convention and Lawrence was one of just four mixed college/university choirs chosen to perform. The concert choir will have the privilege of performing twice on the convention’s final day, singing both in the morning and again during the conference’s final performance slot.

The 56-member choir, which includes freshmen through seniors, music and non-music majors, will sing a diverse program at the convention, covering late 16th century to 21st century music that spans the globe from Argentina to Australia. Selections include “Les Voici!,” a chorus from Bizet’s “Carmen,” Stephen Leek’s “Knowee” which debuted in 2008, and Philippe Rogier’s “Laboravi in gemitu meo.” The performance will be held at the 2,600-seat Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall.

Lawrence was selected for the convention through a blind audition process. The audition CD had to include recordings from three consecutive years of performances, insuring a history of high-quality work from the auditioning choir. In 2006, the Concert Choir was chosen to perform at the North Central ACDA regional convention in Omaha, Neb.

Bjella, professor of music, has served as the director of choral studies at Lawrence since 1984. A former president of the Wisconsin Choral Directors’ Association, Bjella has conducted more than 350 festivals and workshops in 25 states throughout the country, including appearances as the conductor of All-State choirs in Wisconsin, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. He also has extensive international guest conducting experience, leading choirs in London, Lucerne, Paris, Prague, Seoul and in 2006 directed the professional choir Polifonija on a four-city tour in Lithuania.