Over a dozen seniors secure national scholarships

by Alexandra Pattillo | 5/17/16 7:27pm

This year, over a dozen seniors have secured national scholarships to pursue further study after commencement.

As of April 1, Madeline Baird ’12, Michael Beechert ’16, Rocio Labrador ’15, Alex Moushey ’16 and Joshua Tupler ’16 have all been named as Fulbright Scholars.

Four Dartmouth students — Katherine Crane ’16, Dalia McGill ’16, Bay Lauris Byrne Sim ’15 and Malika Khurana ’15 — earned the H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship, which the College awards each year to graduating seniors or recent Dartmouth graduates in fields such as architecture, urban planning and art history.

The College also awarded the James B. Reynolds Scholarship for Foreign Study to nine students: Pascal Croak ’16, Ester Cross ’15, Jacqueline Donohoe ’13, Christopher Fay ’16, Saida Makhmudzade ’14, Elizabeth Markowitz ’16, Maia Salholz-Hillel ’15, Alice Wang ’16 and Nancy Wu ’15. Reynolds Scholarship recipients will be able to study or conduct research in any field in any foreign country with a recognized educational institution and a definite program of study or research approved by the Committee on Graduate Fellowships at Dartmouth.

Other popular scholarship opportunities among students at the College include the Beinecke and Udall Scholarships.

The Beinecke award, which supports the graduate education of “young men and women of exceptional promise,” provides award winners $4,000 prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while they are attending graduate school. Sera Kwon ’17 received the award and plans to continue studying social movements with the grant.

JoRee LaFrance ’17 and Helen Thomas ’18 both received the Udall Scholarship, which awards 50 scholarships of up to $5,000 and 50 honorable mentions to sophomores and juniors interested in careers in the environment, tribal public policy or Native American health care.

LaFrance is a double major in Earth science and Native American studies with a minor in anthropology. A member of the Crow tribe, she wants to learn more about tribal energy and economic policy, especially relating to hydroelectric power, according to the Scholarship Advising office website.

Thomas, a Hunkpapa Lakota, plans to major in economics modified with education and minor in Native American studies and hopes to study impacts of education policy on reservation communities.

Instead of entering the professional world immediately, scholarship recipients will take a more unconventional path, choosing to study, teach and work abroad in various capacities. Next year, the grant recipients will travel to diverse locations around the world, including Malaysia, Germany, Colombia, Australia, Brazil, China and the Dominican Republic.

The College has a longstanding relationship with various scholarship programs. Undergraduates and recent alumni of the College consult the scholarship advising office, led by assistant dean of scholarship advising Jessica Smolin and Fulbright program advisor Kenneth Bauer throughout the application processes. The Committee on Graduate Fellowships, consisting of nine faculty members, endorses students for scholarships.

The Fulbright is one of the most popular scholarships among Dartmouth students, and applicants are notified of their acceptance at different times, depending on the country where they plan to work. The Fulbright Program currently operates in over 160 countries.

The Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Moushey, a theater and film major pursuing a career in medicine, received a Fulbright teaching position in Malaysia.

“I am going to go in as humble as I can and accept whatever they need me to do,” Moushey said. “If it turns out I’m working with another age group than I planned, that’s okay. If there is not the opportunity to shadow at a medical clinic, that’s okay. If I end up in a super rural area in Borneo, that’s okay.”

The Schwarzman and Yenching Scholarships provide support for international students to live and study in Beijing in preparation for a future as global leaders. Jordyn Turner ’16 and Jake Gaba ’16 have been named Schwarzman Scholars for this upcoming year and will participate in a one-year master’s program at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Turner’s interest in China was initially sparked by a project studying comparative media in Asia during high school and her foreign study experience in Beijing. She worked closely with Smolin to prepare her application and supplementary materials as well as conduct mock interviews.

She said that she plans to study public policy in Beijing, which will subsequently prepare her for a career in law.

Gaba said he is excited to pursue international studies. As a computer science modified with studio art major, he said he is passionate about international media. Gaba’s interest in studying in China also stems from his experience living in Beijing and studying Mandarin on the Chinese LSA.

The scholarship advising office’s largest challenge is recruitment, Smolin said. Dartmouth students are often professionally minded, sometimes viewing scholarships as a detour of sorts. She emphasized that scholarships can fit in well with whatever path a student is interested in taking.

Bauer himself completed a Fulbright 20 years ago, executing a research project focused on how small scale communities develop and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances relating to development projects in Nepal. The experience was completely transformative, Bauer said, and launched much of the work he continues to do today in the region.

Both Smolin and Bauer emphasized that national scholarship opportunities can yield tremendous meaning and value for students.

Bauer said he feels that there is a lot of untapped potential amongst the College student body, many of whom could benefit tremendously from scholarship opportunities.

“I don’t think enough people apply, nor do I think that the right people apply,” Bauer said.

Moushey is a former member of The Dartmouth staff.