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Two Awarded Watson Fellowships to Study Abroad

Jason Fults and Isaac Bingham, both December 2005 graduates of Berea College, have been awarded 2005-06 Thomas J. Watson Fellowships for independent study and travel outside the United States.

The $25,000 fellowships will allow each student to spend a year exploring a topic of their choosing, starting this summer. Fults and Bingham received two of 50 fellowships awarded annually to students from the 50 eligible private liberal arts colleges and universities in the United States. Winners are selected on the basis of character, leadership potential, willingness to immerse him or her self in new cultures and personal significance of the project proposed.

Fults, who is from Land O’Lakes, Fla., majored in biology with a minor in sustainability and environmental studies at Berea. He plans to explore how contemporary conceptions of science and nature are shaped by history and culture in India, Malaysia and China and to examine the implications of those conceptions for addressing modern environmental crises.

Bingham, an art major from Great Barrington, Mass., will use the award to study various aspects of indigenous boatbuilding on two sides of the Pacific Ocean under the tutelage of native boat builders in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia the South Pacific Island of Tokelau, Peru and Ecuador.

The Watson Foundation is a charitable trust founded in 1961 by the widow of Thomas J. Watson Sr., to honor her husband, the founder of IBM. In 1968, their children established the fellowship program in recognition of their parents' longstanding interest in education and world affairs.

Fults and Bingham bring to 27 the number of Berea College students to receive Watson Fellowships since 1988, when the College first became involved in the program.

For additional information on the Watson Fellowships, visit

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