Willamette Students Win Prestigious National Awards

Six Willamette University students received top national awards - two Truman Scholarships, two Watson Fellowships, one Fulbright Grant and one Goldwater Scholarship. Willamette is the only university in the country to have two Trumans and two Watsons this year. Willamette's closest competition is Williams (two Trumans, one Watson), Middlebury (one Truman, two Watsons), Carleton (three Watsons), Rice (three Watsons) and Harvard (three Trumans).

Juniors Jennifer Heidt, a politics and sociology major from Boise, Idaho, and Lesley Meyer, a politics major from Missoula, Mont., were selected as 2004 Harry S. Truman Scholars. The Truman Scholarship is a $26,000 merit-based federal grant awarded to college juniors, who plan to attend graduate or professional school in preparation for careers in government, the non-profit sector or elsewhere in public service. In the last five years, eight Willamette students have been awarded Truman Scholarships. Out of 67 colleges and universities, only eight, including Willamette, have two or more Truman Scholars this year.

Justin Brown and Ellen McGehee are among 50 college seniors nationwide to be awarded a 2004-05 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. Watson Fellowships are one-year grants of $22,000 for travel and independent study outside the United States. The award marks the culmination of an application process that officially began in September, when nearly 1,000 students from 50 selective private liberal arts colleges and universities applied for their university's nomination. Among the West Coast institutions, only Willamette and Pomona College have two Watson Fellows this year.

Senior politics major Alex Dukalskis has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to teach English in Korea. The Fulbright covers the cost of travel and provides a stipend of approximately $1,000 a month for 13 months. The Fulbright Program was created by Congress in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchange. Dukalskis, an award-winning member of Willamette's forensics team, was also been accepted to the London School of Economics' master's program in Human Rights.

Natalie Muren, a sophomore chemistry major, was named a 2004 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. The two-year scholarship provides up $7,500 a year for tuition, books and room and board costs. A native of Keizer, Ore., Muren is one of 310 Goldwater Scholars selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,113 nominees.

For more information on what these talented students will be researching, visit Student Academic Grants and Awards.