Willamette Tops in National Scholars

For the second consecutive year, Willamette University students have garnered five national scholarship awards, the only university on the West Coast to win a Fulbright Grant, a Truman Grant, a Udall Scholarship, a Watson Fellowship and a Kemper Scholarship.

Jessica WalkerJessica Walker, a senior majoring in cultural anthropology from Sebastopol, Calif., has been awarded a prestigious 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, created by Congress in 1946 and administered by the Institute for International Education of the U.S. State Department, allows recent graduates to travel to more than 140 countries each year to take classes or conduct research projects to foster mutual understanding among nations through education and cultural exchange. When Walker returns from her 13-month adventure in South Korea, she hopes to work for Teach for America, a national teacher corps of recent college graduates who commit two years to teach and effect change in under-resourced urban and rural public schools. [ Full Story ]

Kate D'AmbrosioKate D'Ambrosio, a junior politics and history major from Missoula, Mont., has been named a 2005 Truman Scholar. The Truman Scholarship recognizes college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in public service. Scholars are chosen on the basis of their community service and demonstrated leadership, academic record and commitment to a career in public service. They are awarded up to $30,000 to pursue graduate study. D'ambrosio is one of only 75 national Truman Scholars selected from 237 candidates from 152 institutions. She has also been awarded a 2005 Honorable Mention for the Udall Scholarship. [ Full Story ]

Anton ChionoAnton Chiono, a junior majoring in environmental science from Summer Lake, Ore., has been named a 2005 Udall Scholar. The Udall Foundation awards scholarships of up to $5,000 to college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate outstanding potential and a commitment to pursuing careers related to the environment and to Native American and Alaska Native college sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated outstanding potential and a commitment to careers related to tribal public policy or health care. Chiono received one of 80 of these prestigious scholarships awarded from 436 nominations from 211 colleges and universities. [ Full Story ]

Danielle BennettDanielle Bennett, a senior biology major from Susanville, Calif., has been granted a Watson Fellowship for 2005-06. The Watson fellowship allows its recipients to spend a year abroad on self-created, independent learning projects. Danielle is the fourth Willamette student to receive a Watson Fellowship since 2002. Up to 50 schools are allowed to nominate students and 50 scholarships are awarded each year. This year, 184 students interviewed for the coveted awards. Bennett will travel to seven countries to examine the relationship between humans and horses, studying the ways they communicate. She will meet master horsemen to explore regional variation in handling horses, and will study horses to determine the roles of environmental and anthropogenic factors in horse traits. [ Full Story ]

Jessica ClausenJessica Clausen, a freshman majoring in German and economics from Litchfield, Minn., has been named the first Kemper Scholar at Willamette University. The Kemper Scholar Program, which is sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago, prepares students for leadership and service, especially in the fields of administration and business. The Foundation believes that the undergraduate study of liberal arts is the best preparation for life and career. Each Kemper Scholar receives scholarships of $3,000 to $8,000 per year for three years; $2,000 to $6,000 for internships in the sophomore and junior summers; and full support to attend the annual Kemper Scholar Conference for three years. Willamette University is one of only 15 liberal arts colleges in the nation to be selected to participate in the Kemper Scholar Program. [ Full Story ]