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 rigorous academic offerings with the opportunity to develop new skills and expand beyond Reed, beyond the U.S. and into the world!

The program awards fellowships of up to $3000 to 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.  

See the 2015 project summaries below!

Photo of recipients with John Kroger in front of a fire place.

Joohee Bang:  Exploring Carbon Fiber and Its Applications

The study of the physical properties of new materials and their applications are crucial to various fields ranging from biotechnology to computer industry. From microprocessors to biomedical sensors, challenges in overcoming the small dimensions and achieving complexities are directly related to discovering new materials and their unique characteristics. The extent to which the new composite materials can impact is wide and the ways they can be adapted are limitless. With my research experience in inorganic and physical chemistry, I have been accumulating interest in new materials and their industrial applications. The material of my specific interest is carbon fiber, which is known for its low weight, high conductivity, and high stiffness. I plan to join a program offered by Korea Mirae Technology in South Korea, through which I will learn the properties and applications of carbon fiber. I will also obtain skills to run various manufacturing techniques to make carbon fiber composites. As a chemist who is pursuing academic career in materials science and engineering, I hope to gain further insights into new materials with industrial purposes and their applications.

Kammy Chiu: Tracing the Birth of Porcelain

This winter, I will be attending a 4-week residency program with The Pottery Workshop (TPW) in Jingdezhen, China, known as the “the birthplace of porcelain”. Not only was kaolin, a key ingredient in porcelain, first discovered in Jingdezhen, but the city also has over 2000 years of history in porcelain production. During my residency with TPW, I will have the opportunity to rigorously trace the origin and processing of the material I work with as a potter. From kaolin mining on Gaoling Mountain, to clay mixing, throwing, firing and glazing in the studio, I will hone the skills necessary to become a self-sufficient potter. More importantly to me, this project will allow me to explore customs and traditions of a Chinese-based ceramics community. As a Western-trained potter born and raised in Hong Kong, a four-week immersion in Eastern-styled ceramics will allow me to connect my cultural heritage with my passion for ceramics - a crucial experience that will allow me to develop my own artistic style. As the co-founder and leader of the Ceramics Club at Reed, being equipped with both Western and Eastern training in ceramics will allow me to serve as a more knowledgeable and skillful mentor.

Ian Connelly: Documenting Taijiquan

My project is to travel to Beijing to study Wu Taijiquan under Grand Master Zhen Zhongshan, and to experiment with DV recording technologies to document my experience. Taijiquan is an ancient internal martial art influenced by Daoist philosophy which privileges flexibility over rigidity, reaction over initiation. I began studying taijiquan two years ago while studying abroad in Taipei. At that time, I practiced daily in the mornings with a small group of older Taiwanese. The experience of practicing with this community taught me the importance social interaction has in establishing one’s understanding of taijiquan. The site of practice is a venue for practitioners to chat and connect, but also to talk about how taiji principles intersect with other aspects of their lives.  Having the opportunity this winter to study with one of China’s most highly respected masters gives me an ancillary opportunity to revisit this intersubjective social space, which I believe is the lived domain whereby taiji is transmitted and preserved. No tool is better than the DV camera in attempting to capture these subtleties. My final product will be a 40 minute diary-style documentary which explores these intersections, and examines how taiji intersects with my own life.

Irene Globus Harris: HI Line Analysis of NGC 6798 at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy 

Radio astronomy is a study of the universe that reaches beyond the visible spectrum of light. Thanks to observations in the radio wavelengths, phenomena such as non-thermal radiation, pulsars, and proof of the big bang, such as cosmic microwave background radiation, are possible to observe. ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, studies such phenomena. ASTRON’s analysis of galaxies hydrogen emissions decodes the cosmology of the universe. In my three week stay, I will analyze data gathered from the Westerbork Telescope, with a focus on a lenticular galaxy in the Cygnus constellation, NGC 6798. I will simultaneously improve my Dutch language skills, and use my weekends to travel around the Netherlands to deepen my cultural appreciation for the country.

Kate Hilts:  The Fleeting Ecology of Madagascar: Photographing Species Endangered by Climate Change

Climate change threatens much ecology globally, but the threat is not evenly distributed. Tropical countries along the equator are especially susceptible to the changing climate, and nations stricken by poverty, with little infrastructure, have fewer means to respond and adapt. Madagascar fits all of these criteria. Climate change threatens the island and its hundreds of rare plant and animal species, some of which exist nowhere else on the globe. Through digital photography, I plan to capture those threatened species and habitats now. I plan to explore the 14,000-acre Ambohitantely Reserve in central Madagascar, one of the most biologically diverse areas of the one of the most biologically diverse nations in the world. Home to rare birds, forty types of orchid, and a species of frog not found outside the reserve, Ambohitantely is the perfect place to catalog the beautiful wildlife that we stand to lose through climate change. I would stay in the nearby capital, Ambohidratrimo, formerly Tananarive. When not at the reserve, I would document the expanding industry and deforestation in and around the capital that exacerbates the risk for these rare species.

Isabel Meigs: Ukrainian Language in L'viv 

I will travel to L'viv, Ukraine to participate in a two-week long intensive Ukrainian language program through the Ukrainian Language and Culture School. As part of this program, I will take part in beginner Ukrainian lessons, and learn about traditional Ukrainian culture as presented by the program. I will live with a Ukrainian-speaking host family in the center of the city. In addition to the program, I propose to spend my free time traveling in central and Western Ukraine. As part of a more independent project, I plan on visiting Berdichev, a town located in between Kiev and L'viv. Although a small town, Berdichev features heavily in Russian-Jewish literary imagination, and experienced all the devastation of the 20th century. I hope to see the town in its modern state, visit Jewish and historical landmarks, and interview Jewish residents.

Sydney Scarlata: Cuba and the United States: Navigating a Complicated History

In 1959, the United States responded to the success of the Cuban revolution with a 55-year long policy of isolation and sanctions. In 2014, President Obama formally declared a renewal of U.S. relations with Cuba. For my project, I'd like to focus on these two turning points in Cuban history. I will follow the path of Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement from southern Cuba to Havana. Along the way, I will explore the effects the revolution and subsequent 55 years of hostile relations with the United States have had on Cuban identity and Cuban opinions of the United States. Through a combination of photography and mini-interviews, I will capture a moment of life in Cuba at a crucial transition point at the end of decades of animosity but before the floodgates of U.S. capitalism fully open.

Josh Tsang: A Glance Through the Translucent Lens of Chinese Porcelain

Over winter break, I will be completing an artistic residency with The Pottery Workshop (TPW), a Chinese ceramics center based in Jingdezhen – the ‘Porcelain Capital’ of the world. I have been in contact with TPW to design a program that fits my interests in ceramics while also taking advantage of the opportunity to study the abundance of ceramic art in Jingdezhen. The first part of my residency will consist of studying traditional styles of Chinese porcelain pottery. This research will range from examining the techniques used to form clay vessels to replicating the glazework and decoration methods still in use by contemporary artists today. I will then incorporate my research into a body of work that I will create at TPW facilities. As the leader and one of the main instructors of the newly formed Ceramics Club at Reed College, the insights that I will gain in Jingdezhen will directly benefit the Reed community.

Savanah Walseth:  From Yoga to Film Therapy: An Exploration of Mental Health Care in India

With a population of over 1 billion people, India has the largest number of individuals with a mental illness in the world—about 50 million. For that many people, India had no choice but to create a comprehensive mental health policy to deal with the crisis. In October 2014, they did just that. Today, India has some of the most innovative treatments for those with mental disorders in the world. Training for community members has improved drastically and evolved in ways that allow the system to treat a person psychosocially, involving family members and a person’s full body, not just their mind. Treatment has moved from the couch to the yoga mat and from talk therapy to film therapy. This January, I will travel from Mumbai to Chennai, from an international conference to grassroots non-profits to discover how India is reinventing mental health care. I will immerse myself in the complexities of health and sickness, healing and psychology to find improvements, solutions and hope to bring back to Portland and Reed College. With the Winter International Fellowship, I will have the opportunity to explore firsthand how another country handles a complex, systemic crisis with dignity and respect for every individual.