This year, over 30 Bowdoin students received national fellowships or scholarships to pursue professional opportunities around the world. These opportunities range from teaching students in various countries such as Portugal, Israel, South Korea and Mexico to pursuing public service work in Washington, D.C. to enrolling in prestigious graduate programs around the world.
Cindy Stocks, the director of student fellowships and research, emphasized that this was another strong year for student fellowships and that it complemented Bowdoin’s commitment to supporting students during the application process.
Reflecting on the consistently high number of fellowships awarded to Bowdoin students, Stocks thought this trend could be attributed to several reasons.
“A lot of it has to do with the strength of the students that choose to come here,” she said. “It has a lot to do with the strength of the curriculum. It has to do with the strength of our study abroad program … there’s a lot of synergy between [abroad and Fulbright]. I also think that there’s our commitment to the common good, which resonates really well with national fellowship applications.”
Last week, the Office of Student Fellowships and Research released an initial list of Bowdoin students who had been awarded prestigious fellowships, which continues to be updated. So far, 18 students have been offered Fulbright scholarships, three have been offered Watson Fellowships and one has been offered a Truman Scholarship.
Forty-four students applied for Fulbrights this year, and while the 18 that were awarded marks a slight decrease from last year’s 19, it continues Bowdoin’s reputation as a peer-leading institution for producing competitive applicants.
Praise Hall ’20, the only student awarded a prestigious Truman Scholarship this year, said that she felt good about the work she put into her application.
“The most rewarding part [of the process] was turning in the application and feeling proud of what I submitted,” she said. “I knew that regardless of the outcome, I was proud of the time I poured into the process and grateful for the experience in its entirety. I also walked away feeling like I knew myself so much more.”
Camille Farradas ‘19 received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) fellowship to Portugal. For her, the application process was a way to meditate on her time as a student and to consider where she wants to go after leaving Bowdoin.
“It was rewarding in that the process of working on these essays all summer allowed me to reflect on my education at Bowdoin, what it has meant to me and how I can translate what I’ve learned in a completely new environment that isn’t necessarily directly tied to my majors here,” Farradas said.
Julia O’Rourke ’19, who was awarded a Fulbright ETA in South Korea, is emotional about the prospect of leaving Bowdoin to work overseas.
“I certainly feel nervous about leaving the comforts of Bowdoin and home. I have always lived in New England and near my family, so I think there will be some growing pains and homesickness as I move across the world,” she said. “That said, I’m so excited to immerse myself in an entirely new culture and live with a host family, especially because I did not go abroad in my time at Bowdoin.”
In addition to O’Rourke, the Fulbright recipients were Nathan Austria ’19, Sina Bakhtiari ’19, Daniel Banks ’19, Alessandro Cocito-Monoc ’19, Nell Fitzgerald ’19, Kathleen Johnson ’19, Colby Joncas ’19, Swapnika Mallipeddi ’19, Miranda Miller ’19, Michael Walsh ’19, Evan Walters ’19 and Phoebe Zipper ’19. Liam Nicoll ’18 received a Fulbright Study/Research award.
Four students received Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation: Danielle Freeman ’17, Hannah Rose Miller ’17, Anna Kaplan ’17 and Kevin Trinh ’19.
Samuel Lewis ’19 received a Keasbey Memorial Scholarship and Marie Caspard ’20 received a Udall Scholarship.
Anuoluwapo Asaolu ’19, Alexa Gray ’19 and Brandon Morande ’19 were awarded Watson Fellowships.
Stocks urged underclassmen to start thinking about the application process early and to work with her office to get the most out of the support Bowdoin provides.
“It’s a good idea to come to an info session, look at our website, come in and meet with us and get these opportunities on your radar screen and start early,” she said.
She added that having a variety of experiences and opportunities to grow as a person is an asset to any application.
“[Bowdoin students] have had more interesting things to write about in their applications, whether it’s a funded internship through the Career Planning Center, spending a summer here doing research or maybe an opportunity in the McKeen Center,” she said.