Art Major Wins Watson Fellowship

Rose Driver ’19 will travel the globe studying comics and community among the artists who create them.

By Chris Lydgate ’90 | March 20, 2019

Congrats to art major Rose Driver ’19, who has won a prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study comics and the communities of artists who create them in Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Germany, and Belgium.

Her project, titled “Making Comics Together,” will explore how artists support each other on the long creative journey from first brainwave to final product, or as she put it, “the catharsis, companionship, conversations, and collective pride of creating together.”

Rose is an artist who has produced comics on an impressive range of topics, from a zine about the Doukhobors, a Russian-Canadian pacifist group, to a history of the word goth. Her senior thesis is a graphic report on resource management of the Columbia River, and she has also led Paideia classes on drawing and sketching.

She was bowled over when she heard the news. “I was totally elated,” she says. “I was tearing up!”

The Center for Life Beyond Reed and the Fellowships and Awards Committee (Prof. Josh Howe, Prof. Sam Fey. Prof. Alison Crocker, Prof. Catherine Witt, Prof. Michael Knutson, Prof. Ken Brashier, and career and fellowship advisor Shania Siron) encourage Reed students to apply for opportunities such as the Watson and provide strategic advice and moral support during the application process.

Reed has a proud tradition of partnership with the Watson Foundation stretching back fifty years to 1969 with the creation of the very first fellowships—which included two Reedies. Each year since then, the foundation has made grants to fellows from 40 partner institutions to travel the globe pursuing projects of their own creation, and a total of 68 Reed seniors have won Watson fellowships.

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