The Watson Adventure

A one-year project, designed by YOU, for travel outside the U.S., with $30,000 funded by the Watson Foundation.

Propose to do something that absolutely sets your soul on fire. Your passion for the subject and willingness to pursue it to the last crumb is everything. 

(Thomas Lakeman, C’86)

Who gets the Watson Fellowship …

  • Holistic assessment of “unusual promise”
  • Demonstrated leadership, resourcefulness, imagination/vision, independence, integrity, responsibility, emotional maturity, and courage
  • Not based on GPA
  • We seek future leaders and innovators, creative, independent thinkers

Project requirements …

  • Independent
  • We invest in people, not research
  • Personal passion & fit | We look for evidence of longstanding interest
  • Stretch & feasibility | New countries, languages, & contacts
  • "No return" rule (a semester study abroad eliminates that country while a short visit on family vacation would not)
  • No visits to countries on U.S. State Department travel warnings, CDC warning level 3, and Treasury embargoes

Review Fellow summaries from other Watson colleges to get a better sense of what a winning proposal looks like. And see what Watson Fellows at Sewanee have done over the years in this story from the Sewanee MagazineThe Watson Foundation site identifies rules of the award.

The Watson Application

Initial applications for the 2016 competition will be due Monday, Sept. 5, at 4 p.m. (at the office of Dorothy Gates, Guerry 114) and comprise:

no late applications will be accepted

The Watson Committee

Campus contact and liaison to the Watson Foundation

other members of Watson Committee

  • Manuel Chinchilla (Spanish)
  • Martin Knoll (Forestry & Geology)
  • Yuliya Ladygina (Russian)
  • Pradip Malde (Art & Art History)
  • Terry Papillon (Dean of the College, Classics)

Sewanee Watson Fellows

2017
Mark McAlister, Charlotte, NC
Emergency Calls: A Community's Reply
Chile, Tanzania, Thailand, Denmark

2016
Lauren Lyons, Lakemont, GA
Freeing the Mind Behind Bars: Philosophy in Prisons
Norway, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa
 
2014
Rob Goeller, Rowayton, CT
Bullying, Bigotry, and the Beautiful Game: Refereeing Soccer around the Globe
Brazil, South Africa, Qatar, Switzerland, and Great Britain
 
Kelsey Koontz, Towson, MD
Drawing Out and Giving Back: The Othermother, and Women Supporting Women
Belize, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines
 
2013

DeAndré Espree-Conaway, Houston, TX
Taking down Tongues: The Culture of Language Documentation
French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Indonesia (West Papua),
the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Solomon Islands, Bangladesh,
and Australia

2012
Blair Barrows, Atlanta, GA
Playing to Learn and Learning to Play: An Exploration of Play Utilized in Education
England, Germany, Italy, South Africa, India

Aaron Rutz, Cincinnati, OH
Constructing the Dramatic Spirit: Life and Creative Process in Ensemble Theatre
Denmark, Germany, Italy, Nigeria, Poland

2011
Jesse Schupack, Sewanee, TN
Across the Board: Exploring International Board Game Culture
South Korea, Germany, Ghana, India, Hungary, Greece

2010
Allie O’Connell, Cleveland, TN
Girls Who Boof
Canada, New Zealand, Corsica (France), Italy, Norway

2009
Emily Beeson, Greenwich, CT
The Mennonite Experience with Cultural Identity and Adaptation Abroad
Mexico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Peru, Paraguay, Tanzania, India

Laura Candler, Sharpsburg, GA
Land in Light of Clouds
Australia, Iceland, Norway

2007
Syeda Hamadani, Nashville, TN
Discovering the Hispano-Muslim Identity: The Legacy of Muslim Influence
Morocco, Spain, Peru, Venezuela, and Argentina

Josh Harris
Riding on Blades and Rails: Ice Hockey and Train Travel in Slavic Europe
Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary

Luke Padgett, Apison, TN
Tales of Deep Time: Profit, Science, Perception and the Global Fossil Trade
Morocco, Germany, Poland, Russia, Britain, Dominican Republic, Madagascar, China, Mongolia

2004
Katherine S. Cummings, Asheville, NC
Compassionate Service as Religious Practice: Photographing Engaged Buddhism
Vietnam, India, New Zealand

2002
Kraemer Allen Lovelace, Baton Rouge, LA
The Actualization of the Western Myth on Large Cattle Ranches
Argentina, Australia, Brazil

2001
George Wilcox Brown, III, Portsmouth, VA
The Relevance of the Monastic Life in Contemporary Christian Culture
Egypt, Greece, Spain, England

Ian Mitchell Scott, Nashville, TN
Discovering a Sense of Place: Anthropology and Art in the Landscape
Ireland, Switzerland, Senegal, Guadeloupe

Jason Lee Wilson, Monteagle, TN
Automotive Design and Its Effects on Culture
UK, Germany, Sweden, Italy

2000
Elizabeth Anne Downey, Erie, PA
Gregorian Chant: Music & Faith
UK, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria

Sylvester George Tan, Atlanta, GA
The Changing Faith of Catholicism
Kenya, Tanzania, India, Madagascar, Vietnam, Thailand

1999
Jonathan Morris, Berea, KY
Athletics to Acting in Movement Theatre
France, UK, Bali, Canada

Kristina Steenson, Fort Worth, TX
The Biomedical and Traditional Cultures of Childbirth
Ecuador, Argentina, Chile

1998
Abigail D. Mann, Atlanta, GA
An Historical, Anthropological & Ecological Study of Fox Hunting
UK, Ireland

Jason B. Price, Hoover, AL
The Environmental Impact of Mountaineering
France, Switzerland, Germany, Peru, Chile, Nepal

Christian J.B. Setzer, New Berlin, WI
“Way Enough” in a Study of Rowing
UK, South Africa, Australia

Samuel L. Whitt, Talbott, TN
Student Political Activity in Eastern Europe
Germany, Poland, Czech Rep., Romania, Bulgaria

1997
Jonathan A. Meiburg, Roswell, GA
Going to the Ends of the Earth: Community Life in Remote Societies
Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Canada, China

Christopher S. Piromalli, Altamont Springs, FL
Ayurvedic Medicine and Preventative Health Care
India

1996
Elizabeth H. Harris, Lynchburg, VA
Folk Music & Fiddling
Ireland, UK

1995
Jennifer A. Wood, Charlotte, NC
Folk & Traditional Dances of the British Isles
England, Ireland and Scotland

1994
Kevin M. Watt, Columbia, SC
Agriculture: Economic & Ecological Sustainability
Nepal

1993
Tammy Michelle Haston, Shelbyville, TN
Access and Equality in Education
Australia

Jason William Forester, Columbia, AL
Political Participation of East Indians
England, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago

1992
Andrew D. Buchanan, Bishop, CA
Oral Notation of Ancient Bagpipe Music
Scotland

1991
Walter Ray Parmer II, Chapel Hill, NC
Electric Thermal Storage: Manufacturers & Utility Companies
Gr. Britain, Germany

Kenneth W. Wood, Tullahoma, TN
Bioelectromagnetic Research: Innovative Bone-Healing Techniques
Italy, Yugoslavia

1990
Suzanne L. Cahill, Stone Mountain, Georgia
Sociology of Age-Group Swimmers
England, Sweden, Germany, Trinidad, Australia

Sandy A. Guitar, London, United Kingdom
Comparative Business Management Methods
Japan, Australia, India

1989
Jordan Savage, Las Vegas, NV
Rights of Criminal Defendants
China, India, Argentina

1988
David L. Ariasingam, Kandy, Sri Lanka
A Comparison of Public Health Policies
China, India, Australia

Jennifer L. Bobo, Shelbyville, TN
Societal Attitudes Toward the Teaching Profession
Japan, Sweden, England

1987
Joe M. Wiegand, Palatine, Illinois
National Legislators in Challenged Democracies
Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, South Africa, the Philippines, South Korea

1986
Shelly R. Browning, Bloomfield, MI
Physicians’ Relations with Patients
China, Australia, England

Thomas P. Lakeman, Mobile, AL
Playwriting for Theater Companies
England, France, Austria, Germany, Poland

1985
Michele L. Bambling, Waverly Easton, Maryland
‘Living Masters of Japanese Art
Japan, Korea

Arnie Frishman, Meridian, Mississippi
Judaism in the Modern World
France, Israel, USSR, Romania, the Benelux Countries