Williams College Honors Nine Students as Gaudino Fellows

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., Jan. 5, 2010 — Nine Williams College students have been named Gaudino Fellows and will spend January Term abroad pursuing projects in honor of Robert Gaudino, professor of political science at Williams from 1955 to 1974, who promoted the idea that to truly learn students must confront uncomfortable ideas and situations and take the intellectual and emotional risks inherent in a search for truth.

Sameer Aryal (of Kathmandu, Nepal) and Tarjinder Singh’s (of Toronto, Canada) project will explore “Demand-Side Barriers and the Influence of NGO Operations on the Provision of Healthcare in Nepal,” volunteering in healthcare programs in a remote village in Nepal.

Julian (Adam) Century’s (of Troy, N.Y.) project, “South African Perspectives on the Chinese, Examined through the Microcosm of the Chinese-Zimbabwean Arms Shipment Refusal at the Port of Durban in April 2008,” will examine the complicated relationship between South Africa and China. Century will conduct interviews with South African workers in the area surrounding the Port of Durban, where the community organized a successful grassroots opposition to China’s economic policy in April 2008.

Zeynep Coskun’s (of Istanbul, Turkey) project is titled “The Ironic ‘Other’ Experience in the Country Where My Family Had Been Living for Four Generations.” She will investigate the Kurdish minority conflict in southeast Turkey, close to the border with Iraq, a region often referred to as “the orphan child of the country.”

Hannah Cunningham (of Chapel Hill, N.C.) will travel to Kyetume, Uganda for her project titled “Labial Stretching in the Buganda Kingdom.”

Leah Eryenyu’s (of Kampala, Uganda) project will study “The Street Children Question in Kampala, Uganda” to uncover the cause of influx of children on Kampala’s streets. She also will consider the interplay of children fleeing their homes, working, and becoming victims of road accidents, abuse, and ritual sacrifice.

Gonpo Lama (of Kathmandu, Nepal) will spend January Term at a leprosy colony in central India, where he will volunteer at the local elementary school and the hospital. For his project, “The Relevance of Faith and Religious Belief at a Leprosy Community in Rural Maharashtra, India,” Lama will examine the role and strength of faith and religious belief in environments of suffering.

Shara Singh’s (of New Delhi, India) project “Sociolinguistic Causes behind the Endangerment of the Inari Sami Language” will study the Inari Sami language which is spoken in Northern Finland by approximately 500 people. She hopes to contribute to the maintenance and (re)vitalization of the language.

Emanuel Yekutiel (of Los Angeles, Calif.) will spend January in Jerusalem, studying the culture of the Afghan-Jews who live there and will consist of participant observation within the Jerusalem community. His project is titled “An Ethnographic Study of Afghan-Jews in Jerusalem.”

Professor Gaudino was inspired by experiential education, rigorous scholarship, and a respect for the different perspectives people bring to a question or problem. The fund that honors him and is funding these students supports experiences that are occasions for growth in which the intellectual becomes personal. The successful proposals were judged on three components: academic rigor, direct encounter with otherness, and self-reflection. Each student named as a Gaudino Fellow received financial support of up to $2,500 toward his/her January 2010 project. The Fellows will provide a presentation of the projects at the Spring Meeting of the Gaudino Trustees (April 17-18, 2010).


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 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.

To visit the college on the Internet: http://www.williams.edu/ Williams College can also be found on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/williamscollege and Twitter: http://twitter.com/williamscollege .

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