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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Amber Bradley, a Reed senior psychology major from Newtown, Pennsylvania, has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for the 2002-03 academic year. Bradley will receive $22,000 to support her travel to Argentina, Kenya, Hungary, and Ireland, where she proposes to study womenÂ’s responses to domestic violence. She is among 60 students selected for the prestigious fellowship from 50 selective liberal arts colleges and universities.

Through interviews and participation at domestic violence shelters, Bradley plans to examine womenÂ’s organizational and personal responses to domestic violence in contrasting cultural, religious, tribal, economic, and sociopolitical contexts. She said, "The Watson Fellowship will allow me to return with a clearer vision of how domestic violence services in the U.S. and abroad might be improved. I am certain that interacting with survivors of domestic violence, as well as with women who are dedicating their lives to working against it, will inspire me both personally and in my goal of empowering struggling women."

Including Bradley, Reed students have been awarded 61 Watson fellowships since the program began. Bradley said, "The experience of applying for the Watson Fellowship demonstrated to me that if you have a goal that you care about, and you are willing to ask for help, the Reed community will be outstandingly supportive."

Watson Fellows are selected in a two-step process that requires nomination from the college followed by a national competition. This year nearly 1,000 students competed for the fellowships. The Watson Foundation looks for those with leadership drive, independence, creativity, and academic potential.

The children of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of IBM, and Jeannette K. Watson established the Thomas J. Watson fellowship program in 1968 in honor of their parentsÂ’ life-long interest in education and world affairs. The program does not underwrite formal university education; rather, it supports 12 months of independent, overseas research. Norvell E. Brasch, former fellow and executive director of the fellowship program said, "The program is designed to fund the most creative dreams of our fellows with a minimum of restrictions. The world is their canvas and we let them tell us how they want to paint it."

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