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Fellowship and scholarship winners announced

May 18, 2011


MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Several Middlebury students have recently learned that they are recipients of prestigious academic awards and fellowships. For sophomores and juniors, these awards will help support the students’ academic and research interests at Middlebury.  A number of seniors have received post-graduate fellowships for graduate study and research projects. Two recent Middlebury graduates have received National Science Foundation research fellowships.


Following is a brief overview of these fellowships and awards:


J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board
Front L to R: Alison DeGraff, Olivia Claudio, Jessica Bluestein, Amelia Noble. Back row L to R: Timothy Liu, Romany Redman, Christopher Hench, Sarafina Midzik

The Fulbright program awards grants through a national competition to highly motivated students who wish to undertake research, advanced study or a teaching assistantship for up to one year in a foreign country.

Jessica Bluestein ’11, an international studies/Latin America major, with concentrations in Portuguese and literature & culture, will pursue sociology research in Brazil.

Olivia Claudio
11, a German major, will pursue an English teaching assistantship in Germany.

Christopher Hench
11, a double major in German and economics, will pursue a teaching assistantship in Germany.

Timothy Liu
11, a psychology and sociology/anthropology major, with a minor in teacher education/elementary, will pursue sociology research in China.

Amelia Noble
11, a biochemistry major with minors in physics and anthropology, will research public health in Uganda.

Romany Redman ‘11
, a chemistry and Russian major, will research public health in Russia.

UPDATE 8/23/11: Di-Hoa Le ’11, an international studies major who was previously named as an alternate, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English as a second language in South Korea.

Compton Mentor Fellowship

This fellowship promotes innovative activities that address local and global concerns through a one-year self-directed fellowship experience involving a mentor. Fellows from Middlebury are encouraged to focus on environmental sustainability through projects relating to climate change and energy policy.

Alison DeGraff 11 (pictured with group above), a geography major with minors in Latin American history and Portuguese, will spend her year-long Compton Fellowship in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. She will be doing participatory mapping and marine space-use planning, through the collection and use of local knowledge, to help communities sustainably plan and manage unregulated development in order to protect their increasingly fragile ecosystem.


Thomas J. Watson Fellowship
Austin Davis

This fellowship enables students of unusual promise to pursue independent study on a topic of personal and cultural significance through one year of study and travel abroad following graduation.

Austin Davis 11, a political science major, says his goal is “to spend time with people, listen to their stories, immerse myself in their everyday lives, and learn what ‘disability’ means throughout five strikingly different Arab societies – Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and immigrant Arab communities in Greater London.”

Sarafina Midzik 11 (pictured with group above), a joint biology and political science major, will explore how individuals of different religious traditions grapple with Darwinian evolution. Her year of travel will include stops in Jordan, Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program


David Fouhey

This program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees and awards three years of financial support to individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research.

David Fouhey 11, a computer science major, will pursue a doctorate in computer science from Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute.


Cassidy D’Aloia 09, a biology major with a minor in Spanish, will pursue a doctorate. in marine biology at Boston University.

Sara Lowes 07, a political science and economics double major, will study social sciences at Harvard University.

Vermont Community Foundation High Meadows Fellowship
Sarah Simonds

Sarah Simonds 11 has won this fellowship, which provides a graduating senior with the opportunity to help manage the High Meadows Fund, a $17 million environmental fund focused on reducing the use of fossil fuels, promoting sustainable food systems, and encouraging wise land use in Vermont. The fellow will also help shape the Community Foundation’s comprehensive sustainability plan and coordinate a network of funders who support food and agriculture-related work in the state.

Vermont Community Foundation Philanthropy Fellowship

Carolyn Fox 11 has won this fellowship, whichprovides a unique opportunity for a graduating senior to work for two years with the Community Foundation’s communications team and philanthropic advisors to help their giving partners, including donors and grantee organizations, understand community need and the role of philanthropy in addressing those needs.




Critical Language Scholarships

The United States Department of State’s Critical Languages Scholarship program provides fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences.  CLS program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

Bryan Dooley 12 will study Chinese in China on a Critical Language Scholarship.

Olivia Hipkins 14 will study Arabic in Oman on a Critical Language Scholarship.

Nuquist Award for Vermont History Research

The Nuquist Award is presented to an undergraduate student (or recent graduate) who has completed outstanding yearlong research on a Vermont topic.

Rachel Zakrasek 10 won this year for her thesis titled “Vulnerability and Adaptation in Vermont: Agriculture, Society, Ecology, and Climate Change.”