University of Puget Sound Graduates Collect Rhodes, Fulbright, Watson Scholarships

Twelve University of Puget Sound students and alumni were honored this year with scholarships and fellowships. Photo courtesy of University of Puget Sound.


Submitted by University of Puget Sound

university of puget sound scholars
Twelve University of Puget Sound students and alumni were honored this year with scholarships and fellowships. Photo courtesy of University of Puget Sound.

University of Puget Sound students and recent alumni won recognition nationally and internationally this academic year by securing highly competitive awards for study, research, and teaching experiences abroad.

Twelve students and alumni were honored with the scholarships and fellowships, taking the number of prestigious national awards achieved by Puget Sound students since 2000 to a total of 170. Puget Sound, a national liberal arts college with a student undergraduate body of 2,600, congratulates this year’s new awardees and looks forward to following their careers ahead.

The 2014–15 awards include Rhodes and Fulbright Research scholarships, a Watson Fellowship, a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany, a Critical Language Scholarship to China, five French Government Teaching Assistantships, and a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Postgraduate Scholarship. In addition, alumnus Jay Goldberg ’12, who is attending Indiana University Bloomington, secured a National Science Foundation Research Fellowship. Several other students were finalists or waitlisted for national awards.

“We had a momentous start to the school year when Lillis Scholar Billy Rathje ’15 flew through a grueling interview and assessment process and came away with a Rhodes Scholarship,” said Sharon Chambers-Gordon, director of the Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Fellowships. “That was followed by some remarkable applications by other students—some of whom won fellowships and some of whom came so close they still left us brimming with pride. Every year it is a privilege to see these young people honored for their talents and initiative. We thank them and wish them a fruitful and exciting year ahead.”

Photo courtesy of University of Puget Sound.
Photo courtesy of University of Puget Sound.

As a Rhodes Scholar, Rathje will study at University of Oxford, England, where he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in computer science. While at Puget Sound he majored in computer science and English literature, as well as pursuing interests in theater performance, poetry, musical composition, the sciences, and applied science.

Watson Scholar Lisa Tucker ’15 will travel the world for a year and research how gardening is used by different cultures to relay messages of political action. The American politics and government major will travel to England, Italy, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Brazil.

NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winner Max Mirande ’15 was one of only 29 men’s fall sports participants, from across all three NCAA divisions, to receive the award. The Logger linebacker and molecular and cellular biology major intends to use the scholarship to help him pursue medical school.

Nathan Bradley ’16 secured a Critical Language Scholarship to China, just a year after landing a Boren Scholarship to China. At Puget Sound the Colorado native is double majoring in Chinese language and culture, and economics.

Biology major and honors program student Grete Slaugh ’15 will be pursuing her interest in plant research—this time abroad—as the recipient of a Fulbright Research Scholarship to Germany.

Six other scholars, as named below, were chosen for teaching assistantships overseas. They will teach English to students of all ages in local public schools in Germany or France, giving them experience of the local culture and a chance to enhance their language and teaching skills. Overall, the national awardees include:

Rhodes Scholarship
William J. Rathje ’15

Fulbright Research Scholarship to Germany
Grete  A. Slaugh ’15

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany
Aiyana D. Wain Hirschberg ’15

Watson Fellowship
Lisa M. Tucker ’15

Critical Language Scholarship to China
Nathan C. Bradley ’16

French Government Teaching Assistantship
Zeinah Kara ’15 – Toulouse
Kara Klepinger ’15 – Bordeaux
Laura Leach ’15 – Orléans-Tours
Laura Shearer ’15 – Dijon
Helen Shears ’12 – Poitiers

NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
Max Mirande ’15

National Science Foundation Research Fellowship
Jay Goldberg ’12

Photo Courtesy of Ross Mulhausen, University of Puget Sound
Photo Courtesy of Ross Mulhausen, University of Puget Sound

The students were assisted in their achievements by Puget Sound faculty and staff; by members of the Tacoma community who provided enriching work, study, and volunteer opportunities; and by their family and friends. The Fellowships Office, directed by Sharon Chambers-Gordon, coordinates the student applications and handles student recruiting, interviews, evaluation, mentoring, and mock interviews.

The Graduate Fellowships Advisory Committee, chaired by Professor of Religion Greta Austin, reads all applications, conducts campus interviews, and selects scholarship nominees. Committee members also include Associate Dean Martin Jackson, mathematics; Julie Nelson-Christoph, English; David Tinsley, German studies; Kate Stirling, economics; Jeff Grinstead, chemistry; Seth Weinberger, politics and government; Peter Hodum, biology; and Chambers-Gordon. In addition many faculty on and off campus provided indispensable assistance by acting as research advisors and mentors, or by writing letters of recommendation on the students’ behalf.

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