The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Fellowship for Winter International Travel

The Fellowship for Winter International Travel offers the chance to pursue a passion, a professional development experience, or a service opportunity - complementing Reed's academic offerings with the opportunity to expand beyond Reed, beyond the U.S. and into the world!

Following the success of the President's Summer Fellowship, Reed has launched a new opportunity for students, the Fellowship for Winter International Travel.  The program is awarding fellowships of up to $3000 to 10 students to travel for approximately three weeks over winter break.  Students have proposed projects to pursue that will expand their perspectives, foster multi-cultural competence, and involve a personal development component.  The Fellowships support students developing projects that enrich the rigorous Reed academic experience, develop skills that can translate to academic progress at Reed, and contribute to growth in life beyond Reed. See below to read the 2014 project summaries!

Reid Bondurant: Learning the Language of Gaga

There are no mirrors in Gaga. The Gaga dancer does not strive to create an image with their body or place themselves in space, but simply makes themselves available to move. A movement language developed by the artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, Ohad Naharin, Gaga is a new way of gaining awareness through your body. It is a way of exploring instinctive motion and of finding the pleasure in the effort behind the body’s movements. I want to immerse myself in the Gaga movement language this winter. I want to transform and understand the way I move on an entirely new level. I want this experience to change me, as a dancer, as a choreographer, and as a mover. My project will begin when I attend a weeklong Gaga intensive in Tel Aviv, Israel, at the Batsheva studios. During the remainder of break I will then use the tools I have learned there to choreograph a challenging solo for myself that I will then expand into a full piece to be performed in the spring dance concert.

Jaclyn Calkins:  Walking in Inca Footsteps: An Exploration of Peru's Nature and History

When I was ten, I watched a documentary on the Amazon rainforest. Scarred by footage of loggers, I wrote a novel highlighting the harsh realities of rainforest destruction. I dreamed of helping to end deforestation, so that future generations could study rainforests. Now, I have the opportunity to begin actualizing my dream. The clearing of tropical forests has occurred for centuries. Despite ways in which the Amazon’s biodiversity has already shaped human history (e.g. providing the first malaria cure), only a small fraction of species there have been examined for their potential benefits. In addition to contributing to climate change, destruction of this forest deprives future scientists of world-changing discoveries.  I hope to participate in a service project in Peru this winter through International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ). Heading into the Amazon and forests surrounding Cusco, I will immerse myself in Peruvian culture and aid in one of Peru’s largest and most famous rainforest conservation projects. I have two goals:  1) Help a Peruvian ecosystem that is under-explored and vital, an experience that will influence my academic goals; and 2) Explore Andean/Incan culture and rekindle my passion for writing. 

Benjamin DeYoung:  Retracing A German Identity

I plan on retracing the steps of a trip across Germany as it is presented in the novel "Faserland" by Christian Kracht. I see this both as a journey of self-discovery and as one of intellectual importance, as one in which I will both look to establish the German identity of the narrator of the novel, and gain insight into my own identity. I plan on keeping a travel journal in english throughout my travels in order to document and share my experience as related to that of the narrator of "Faserland", which has as yet not been translated into english, and in order to examine the relationship of language itself to identity, as both a medium and a source of self identification.

Kaori Freda:  Translations of a Religion into Art

There are more than three million people around the world whose life trajectories have radically shifted since the founding of the Unification Church in 1954. The Church, controversial for its cultish brainwashing practices and mass arranged marriages, has spawned a multiplicity of children who seek a departure from their religious pasts. I propose to travel to Cheongpyeong, the Church's holy center in Seoul, to enact a daily pilgrimage from the bottom to the top of their holy mountain. There, I will make rubbings, drawings, and photographs. Being a child of an Unification arranged marriage and an avid nonbeliever, I want to explore the developmental role of religion within my own past and demonstrate how art can be a translative medium that can enable positive change. Upon my return, I will showcase my work at a gallery in Washington State, where I grew up, away from the Church.

Hannah Fung-Wiener:  Sólo Flamenco

Like jazz, flamenco is an improvisatory art. Like the jazz pianist, the flamenco dancer cannot successfully improvise without first mastering, memorizing, and embodying the rudiments of her instrument. With my project, “Sólo Flamenco,” I seek to enrich my understanding of flamenco fundamentals—dancer’s technique and choreography, rhythm, and song. To that end, I will enroll in intensive courses at the Taller Flamenco in Seville, Spain, attend flamenco community gatherings, called peñas, around Sevilla and Jerez de la Frontera, and visit the Centro Andaluz de Flamenco, an archival institute devoted to the historical preservation of the art. I will engage with flamenco song not only as a dancer—who must, in flamenco, view cante as an intimate partner in art—but as a poet and a scholar of literature and the Spanish language. On completion of the project, I hope to share what I have learned and created with the Reed community in a “flamenco fundamentals” Paideia class.

Emmeline Hill: Bandicoots, Barns, and Bunyips: Short Story Writing in Rural Australia

Aboriginal Dreamtime mythology describes the creation of the Australian landscape and life forms by giant deities whose forms were inspired by the reptiles and amphibians that still inhabit Australia today. To this day, farmers and soldiers report citing a wide range of fantastic creatures that do not technically exist. As a biologist and a writer, I am fascinated by the intersection of Australia’s incredible biodiversity and the imagination, and the ways in which 200 years of European settlement has affected this relationship. For my project, I would like to travel to the New South Wales region of Australia and work on three farms. While I am there, I plan to write between three and five linked stories that explore the connections between modern farming, native plants and animals, and local folklore. Upon returning to Reed I would like to publish at least one of my pieces in the Creative Review.

Cristobal Mancillas:  Spanish Immersion and Human Rights in Argentina

I will be traveling to Buenos Aires, Argentina to immerse myself in Latin American culture through cultural programs, academic fieldwork, and casual interactions. I will be visiting a variety of museums and exhibits dedicated to the lives lost in human rights abuses during the dirty war and taking private spanish lessons from a professor at the NYU study abroad program in Buenos Aires. I will go to La plaza del mayo, where the mothers of the “desaparecidos”, whose children were kidnapped or killed during the dirty war, choose to protest in order to better understand the emotional appeal of the cause and to think about how the space itself was an effective venue for drawing attention. I will also visit the presidential headquarters called the pink house and other important government buildings during the dirty war. I will also visit the ESMA, which was formerly a navy mechanic school and the hub for human rights abuses and is now a museum dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives. It is in these key sites I plan to visit that I will be able to synthesize the information in my academic reading with the powerful personal narratives of those who lived through this troubling history.

Jossef Osborn:  Surrounded and Searching for a Cure: How Vaccine Researchers in Endemic South Africa Discuss Tuberculosis

My fellowship sends me to Cape Town, where I am connecting with the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI). I will shadow and interview various members of SATVI’s organization in an attempt to understand how scientists and medical professionals discuss their work while living in a country burdened by the disease they seek to cure. At the same time, I plan to learn about the process of conducting vaccine clinical trials. This will increase my understanding of vaccinology while connecting me to top-level researchers at SATVI. As a young scientist interested in creating vaccines to treat pathogens such as tuberculosis, this project will educate me in an experiential way that no course curriculum in microbiology could hope to do.

Serra Shelton:  Blues Dance Berlin: an Embodied Study of Community

Dance is a communicative medium; we speak to each other through movement. Blues dance has shown me how strong this kinetic type of communication can be: blues creates a sense of community and connection through the medium of movement. With PWITF, I will travel to Berlin and study blues dance in the local community. I will chronicle my experiences and observations of the way blues dance builds communities. The grant will provide me the opportunity to examine my personal relationship with blues dance and the way I contribute to and create the communities in which I live.

Rebeca Willis-Conger:  Training with Yoko Okamoto Sensei: Pathways to Leadership

Aikido is a Japanese martial art largely focused on self-defense. My practice of it over the last three years has changed the way I interact with the world, allowing me to take a more active, assertive role in my own life. I propose to travel to Japan to train with my sensei, Yoko Okamoto. As one of the most celebrated women aikido practitioners in the world, Yoko sensei holds a position of power traditionally reserved for men. She has used this unprecedented authority to empower others, teaching aikido across the world to people like me, who are in turn inspired. I want to learn more about that inspiration, to understand how a strong woman can use her personal power to change the world. I will spend one week traveling around Japan, learning about the culture and history of the birthplace of aikido. I will also spend a week training at Hombu dojo in Tokyo, the world headquarters of aikido. Finally, I will spend two weeks in Kyoto with Yoko sensei. This trip will be transformational for me because it will accelerate my personal growth as a leader and give a concrete model for how to affect change.