Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: Noelle.Lemoine@williams.edu
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., April 21, 2016—Williams College seniors Jillian Stallman and Sarah Vukelich have been named the recipients of this year’s Class of 1945 Florence Chandler Memorial Fellowship. The award is a grant in the amount of $25,000 to be used for independent study and travel abroad.
Stallman, of Fargo, N.D., is pursuing majors in Chinese, mathematics, and economics at Williams. Her project will take her to Norway, Spain, Argentina, Bolivia, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast to study economic migrants. Stallman will study why people leave their homeland, where they go, and how they are viewed and received by the natives in the lands where they go. Stallman will spend a month in each country for the first six months of the year, then return to each country for another month to examine changes before and after migration.
At Williams, Stallman has served as a teaching assistant for mathematics and economics classes and organized Scandinavian language tables. After her sophomore year, Stallman spent a year studying Chinese in Taipei, Taiwan. Stallman has received other fellowships and awards, including the Barbara Solow Economic History Fellowship and the Wilmers Summer Language Scholarship. Eventually she plans to work as a research assistant in central banks in Africa and Latin America and pursue a Ph.D. in economic development.
“I’m looking forward to trying to understand the role I can play, both during this coming year at a micro level in person-to-person interactions, and after this year using these experiences to understand what I can do, and what’s outside my power to change, at a global policy or research level,” Stallman says. “Knowing full well how rare and wonderful this opportunity is, it has become a duty, a privilege, and a joy to make sure I try to make the most of it.”
Vukelich, a political science major from La Mesa, Calif., will use the fellowship to study the relationships between labor and climate movements in Switzerland, South Africa, and Ecuador. She will connect with organizers and activist groups to explore movement building, tensions, and individual relationships.
Vukelich is the founder and organizer of Divest Williams, a Storytime board member, and a trip leader and board member for the Williams Outing Club. She has received fellowships and awards including a Class of 1945 World Fellowship, the Sloane-Coffin Public Speaking Prize, and the Wilmers Summer Fellowship. She plans to pursue graduate study in alternative economics systems while continuing her work in activism and organizing.
“I am so honored and humbled to have received the Chandler fellowship,” says Vukelich. “It will be incredibly formative to be in movement-building spaces around the world, to connect with people who are fighting for a more just world, and to understand the organizing work I do as part of a truly global movement. I am sure it will be a year of inspirations, contradictions, and immense challenges. I can’t wait to get started.”
Provided through the generosity of the late Mrs. Harriet Adsit and the Class of 1945 in honor of the wife of Williams President Emeritus John Chandler, the fellowship has been awarded annually since 2003 to a senior to support one year of post-graduate intellectual and personal development.
The Chandler Fellowship is granted to students who exhibit imagination, moral sensitivity, and resourcefulness. Their projects should serve to enrich their lives through intellectual and personal growth as well as to increase their familiarity with non-American cultures. Projects are judged on the criteria of viability, consistency with a student’s past and current interests, and suitability to the recipient’s long-term goals.
Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.