Hamilton College President Eugene M. Tobinannounced today that Victor Rodriquez, a senior from the Bronx, N.Y., has beenselected the winner of the 1997 Bristol Fellowship.

Rodriquez will spend a year studying the roots and the steps of the Brazilianmartial art dance form called the Capoeira. The Capoeira has its roots inAfrican slave culture and is a very athletic, highly formalized martial artsdance performed to music. During his year abroad, Rodriquez will study's thedance's roots in Brazil and in the Caribbean.

The Bristol Fellowship for International Travel was created by the family ofWilliam M. Bristol, Jr., a 1917 Hamilton graduate. It is designed to encouragediscovery of self and the world, to ensure greater appreciation andunderstanding of people and culture, and to enable individuals to act on greatideas through a year-long program of study outside the United States, accordingto Katheryn Doran, associate professor of philosophy at Hamilton and on-campuscoordinator of the selection committee.

"It is through the application process," Doran said, "and then living andlearning abroad for one year that the Fellowship hopes to foster the passion inlearning about the world, the self-confidence to develop an idea fully, and theself-reliance to pursue it."

The first winner of the award, Philip Poh, has spent the past year in HongKong creating a cartoon-illustrated account of the transition of the Britishcolony to China. His work is a traditional Chinese storytelling form thatblends text with detailed illustrations.

Fellowship winners receive a grant to support themselves for a year abroadstudying an area of special interest. Proposals are reviewed by a committee andare judged on the spirit of inquisitiveness and the potential for adventurethat they demonstrate.

William Bristol, Jr. was the son of a founder of the Bristol-Myers Company.He worked for 40 years for the company, heading the international division atthe time of his retirement. Mr. Bristol was a great friend of Hamilton,serving on the Board of Trustees and as president of the Alumni Association.Through his work at Bristol-Myers and into retirement, Mr. Bristol traveledwidely and believed strongly in the importance of learning languages andexperiencing different cultures. The Fellowship is a living tribute to thatspirit, Doran said.

Hamilton is a highly selective, residential college that offers its 1,650students a rigorous liberal arts curriculum. It is the third oldest college inNew York State and is named in honor of U.S. statesman Alexander Hamilton, acharter trustee of the college's predecessor, the Hamilton-Oneida Academy.

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