Two Hamilton Seniors Win Watson Fellowships
Chris LaRosa and Huy Huynh Are Among 60 National Recipients
Contact: Holly Foster 315-859-4068
March 18, 2003
Two Hamilton College seniors have been awarded prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowships for 2003-2004. Chris LaRosa of Winsted, Conn., and Huy Huynh of Endicott, N.Y., were notified on March 17 that their project proposals were among 60 national winners of the Fellowships. In a competition each year the Watson Foundation selects and provides funds for graduating seniors from leading liberal arts institutions to embark on a year of self-directed, independent study while traveling outside the U.S. after their graduation. More than 1,000 students applied for the 60 Fellowships.
LaRosa's project is titled "Shaping Media: Evolution Through Communication Technology: Tanzania, Uganda, Mexico, Slovenia and Finland." Huynh's project is "Acculturation in a New Nation: The Vietnamese Refugees." He will visit Thailand, Russia, Germany, France and the Philippines.
Huynh says, "Over two million Vietnamese have fled their homelands and have resettled all over the world…they did not want to move to a foreign land but millions left in fear for their lives or to search for a better life." Huynh will carry out a comparative study of the acculturation, or cultural modification, of Vietnamese refugees in five different countries: Thailand, Russia, Germany, France and the Phillipines. He plans to research the opposition to having Vietnamese refugees in each country, investigate different integration processes and the factors that influence them. Huynh plans to immerse himself into Vietnamese communities in each country he visits, taking part in their activities and visiting their restaurants and stores and community functions.
LaRosa describes his project as follows: "The availability of communication technology has the potential to shape the way we live, create educational opportunities and improve our quality of life. From the mechanics of reporting to the means of delivery, the computers, Internet and software are changing the way we consume and define our media. I will examine the ways that technology is making what once constituted traditional print journalism more dynamic and accessible.
"Visiting countries that have set themselves apart from their peers by rapidly adopting new communication technologies, I will focus my observation on how new media and connectivity are shaping the distribution and production of media and the nature of communication in society. Visiting Internet service providers, newsrooms, online magazine, digital media labs and wired communities will allow me to draw a clearer picture of the changes and potential for communication technology and new media," LaRosa said.
The Watson Fellowship Program was created in 1968 by the children of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of IBM, and his wife, Jeannette K. Watson, to honor their parents' long-standing interest in education and world affairs. The program identifies prospective leaders and allows them to develop their independence and to become world citizens. Watson Fellows each receive $22,000 for their year of travel and study. The year of travel provides Fellows an unusual opportunity to take stock of themselves, test their aspirations and abilities, pursue their own in-depth study and develop a more informed sense of international concern.