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Seated from left, Wai Yee Poon, Sofia Guerron, Caitlin Lavin, Haley Riemer-Peltz. Standing: Galia Slayen, Kate Harloe, Lilly Gillespie.
Seated from left, Wai Yee Poon, Sofia Guerron, Caitlin Lavin, Haley Riemer-Peltz. Standing: Galia Slayen, Kate Harloe, Lilly Gillespie.

Inaugural Kirkland College Scholars Selected

Contact Holly Foster 315-859-4068
Posted January 6, 2010
Tags Kirkland College Kirkland College Scholars Kirkland Endowment
Ten students have been named the inaugural Kirkland College Scholars at Hamilton College. The new scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate a commitment to the needs and interests of women. It perpetuates the legacy of Kirkland College, which was the women’s college, coordinate with Hamilton, from 1968 to 1978.

The recipients are Sonya Garcia ’11, Chelsea, Mass.; Robyn Gibson ’10, Mattapan, Mass.; Lilly Gillespie ’12, Concord, Mass.; Sofia Guerron ’10, Quito, Ecuador; Katherine Harloe ’12, Canton, N.Y.; Caitlin Lavin ’10, Rumson, N.J.; Shu Yi (Grace) Liew ’12, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia; Wai Yee Poon ’11, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Haley Riemer-Peltz ’12, Lincoln, Mass.; and Galia Slayen ’13, Portland, Ore.

Announcement of the scholars was made by the Kirkland Endowment Advisory Committee, which was established in 1978 to recommend expenditures from the funds that comprised the Kirkland College endowment. Funding for the new scholarships comes from the income earned from the Kirkland endowment, which became part of the Hamilton College endowment when the two colleges merged in 1978.

Sofia Guerron, one of three seniors among the inaugural recipients, is completing her sociology senior thesis on women's migration. She is currently in Ecuador conducting interviews with relatives of women migrants. “These women are highly educated and enjoy a relatively high social status in their homeland,” Guerron said, “yet they decide to migrate to Spain to work as domestic workers. I will be studying the intersection of gender, migration and domestic work and its effects on the sending community.”

Kate Harloe, a sophomore, serves on the Kirkland Endowment Advisory Committee, and classmate Haley Riemer-Peltz has been conducting research on the history of the Kirkland Endowment. “I am still an undeclared major,” Riemer-Peltz said, “but I know that I want to keep studying feminism and women's roles, especially pertaining to our campus.”

Senior Caitlin Lavin is working to counteract what she sees as “an extremely disappointing trend among young woman today that acting unintelligent is sexy or cool.” She explains, “I think it’s important for people to be able to see strong, intelligent and confident women who are capable of succeeding alongside men. I’ve tried to represent that to the current Hamilton community as well as the alumni I have come in contact with through my work at the alumni office.”

Kirkland College was the women’s college, coordinate with Hamilton from 1968-78. Kirkland was devoted to the education of women and to innovative pedagogy; it had a strong focus on the arts and on student participation in their own education. At the time of the merger of the two colleges, the Kirkland Endowment was given to Hamilton to be used for the needs and interests of women, under the direction of the Kirkland Endowment Advisory Committee. Since that time the KEAC has funded on-campus programming and events, student travel, research, creative projects and summer service internships. The KEAC funds two essay prizes, one in women’s studies and one in interdisciplinary prizes, as well as the Samuel Fisher Babbitt Kirkland College Fellowship.

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