Students Win Watson, Goldwater and Luce Prizes
April 4, 2005
Wellesley College students and one young alumna have garnered
numerous prestigious national fellowships this spring.
Laure-Anne Ventouras and Paulina Ponce de Leon Barido are two
of 50 college seniors nationwide selected to receive a 2005-2006
Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. The fellowship, with a stipend of
$22,000, is a one-year grant for independent study and travel outside
the United States.
Ventouras, a biological chemistry major, will study the science
and tradition of essential oil making in China, India, Madagascar,
Morocco and New Caledonia. She will observe how scent crops are
grown and participate in their cultivation, beginning in Morocco
for the geranium harvest and ending in Madagascar, where ylang
ylang is grown.
A physics major, Ponce de Leon Barido will travel
to the Dominican Republic, Madagascar, Mali, Peru, and Sri Lanka
for her project, “Powering
Livelihoods through Appropriate Technology.”
“I have chosen to study development efforts in Peru, Sri Lanka,
the Dominican Republic, Mali and Madagascar,” she said. “In
each of these countries, I have identified non-profit organizations
that have been successful in implementing intermediate energy
technologies. Each of these organizations and the communities
with which they
will provide me with a better insight into the global
effort to provide energy to the poor.”
In addition, Elizabeth Mandeville, a member of the class of 2004,
has been named a Luce Scholar. She will travel to Asia to study
labor, legal, political and economic issues. The Luce Scholars
Program provides stipends and internships for 15 young Americans
to live and work in Asia each year. The program's purpose is
to increase awareness of Asia among future leaders in American
Two Wellesley College students have earned 2005 Goldwater Scholarship
Awards: XinXin Du, a junior majoring in physics and mathematics,
and Rachel B. Nelson, a junior majoring in biological chemistry.
Du’s career goal is to earn a Ph.D. in physics and to conduct
research in theoretical physics. Nelson aims to earn a Ph.D. in
molecular biology and then to lead research using real-time PCR
and DNA sequencing to determine the cellular functions of some
of the genes and proteins whose primary structure have become available
through recent sequencing projects.
The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit
from a field of 1,091 mathematics, science, and engineering students
who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities
nationwide. The one and two-year scholarships will cover the cost
of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of
$7,500 per year.
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an
excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make a difference
in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300
undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For
more information, go to www.wellesley.edu.