For the second year in a row, two seniors from Earlham have been selected for the prestigious Watson Fellowship, continuing the College’s proud tradition of producing curious and confident global scholars.
Esther Mano, an African and African American studies and human development and social relations double-major from Zimbabwe, and Sam Pigott, a biology major from Indianapolis, will each receive a $36,000 stipend in support of independent study and international travel.
Mano will travel to six African countries and the United Kingdom as part of her project “The Lion’s Story: Efforts to Decolonize African History.”
“African and Afrocentric history around the world is still hidden under a cloak of Eurocentric history, which dominates classrooms,” Mano said. “This Eurocentric education is detrimental to African minds and to our community. The youth grow up with a misinterpretation of their history, colonizing their minds.”
Pigott will travel to Central and South America, Europe and Asia to discover “The Missing Link: Crafting Human Relationships in Science.”
“I will explore how researchers and organizations can foster lasting relationships with local communities by examining the perceptions of science within communities, how traditional knowledge and aspects of a culture can bring people of different backgrounds together, and how representation can define our perceptions of science,” Pigott said.
Jasmine Lorenzano, an English and Spanish and Hispanic studies double-major from Los Angeles, and Zafreen Shah, an economics major from Dhaka, Bangladesh, were semi-finalists for the fellowship.
Katie Jacobs and Megan Bennett from the Class of 2020 were both selected as Watson Fellows for the current academic year. Those projects were postponed until the 2021-22 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watson Fellowships are selected by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation every year in memory of the late founder of IBM. More than 3,000 Watson Fellows have been named since the inaugural class in 1969. Watson Fellows are leaders in their communities and fields, including CEOs, college presidents, community organizers, Emmy-, Grammy-, and Oscar-award winners, artists, diplomats, entrepreneurs, faculty, journalists, lawyers, politicians, physicians, researchers, and influential social advocates.