Watson Fellowship Events


What is the Watson?
The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship is a one-year grant for purposeful, independent exploration outside the United States, awarded to graduating seniors nominated by 41 colleges, including Wesleyan University. The Watson Fellowship allows fellows to engage with their deepest interest on a global scale during the year after they graduate. Fellows decide where to go, who to meet, and when to change course; the Watson Foundation funds their project to the tune of $40,000. The program aims to produce personal insight, perspective, and confidence that will shape the arc of fellows’ lives. Each year Wesleyan can nominate up to four candidates to go on to the national competition. The Watson Fellowship is open to Wesleyan students of all disciplines and all citizenships. Only members of the Class of 2024 are eligible to apply in the current cycle, but first-years and sophomores are also encouraged to attend the Q&A to learn more about what the Watson Fellowship is all about.

Watson Fellowship Alumni Panel – 4/18 at 4:30pm, Fisk 201/Zoom
Come learn about the Watson Fellowship! In this session, we’ll get to hear from two Wesleyan alumni currently traveling abroad as Watson Fellows: Livia Cox’ 22 (Neuroscience and Science in Society) and Inayah Bashir (CSS). They’ll share some of the experiences from their year of world travel and deep exploration and they’ll take questions about their own projects and the ins and outs of the Watson Fellowship.

When? Tuesday April 18 at 4:30pm Eastern time — we’ll have snacks!
Where? Fisk 201, register on WesNest (and on Zoom if you are off campus; register to join on Zoom at the link)

Applying for the Watson Fellowship: Q&A with Watson Fellow Jocelyn Velasquez Baez (’23)
When? Monday April 24 at 4:30pm  — we’ll have snacks!
Where? Fisk 201, register on WesNest for event reminders and followup info

Join Assistant Director for Fellowships, Erica Kowsz, and Wesleyan’s newest Watson Fellow, Jocelyn Velasquez Baez (’23) for a Q&A about applying for the Watson Fellowship. Jocelyn will speak about her project idea, how she developed her Watson proposal, and what the application process was like. Only members of the Class of 2024 are eligible to apply in the current cycle, but first years and sophomores are encouraged to attend this Q&A to learn more about what the Watson Fellowship is all about and to gain insights into the project development and application processes.

Opportunities in Asia: Alumni Panel

Many Wesleyan students go on to prestigious and fulfilling opportunities in Asia after Wesleyan. You can too! Come learn from a panel of alumni from diverse backgrounds and achievements who’ve done just that. Several of them will be zooming in from the region, hence the early event hour. Join us in person at 9 am on April 17 in Fisk 201, or if you’re off campus, you can register to join this event on Zoom.

Here’s a look at our panelists:  

Bulelani Jili ’16 (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) is a Meta Research Ph.D. Fellow at Harvard University. His research interests include US-China competition, ICT Development, Africa-China relations, Cybersecurity, National Security, Algorithmic Decision-Making, and Privacy Law. Previously he received his Master’s degree in Economics and Management from Yenching Academy at Peking University

Austin Pope ’19 (Government and East Asian History) is a graduate student at National Chengchi University’s International Master’s Program of Asia-Pacific Studies in Taiwan. He was previously a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, also in Taiwan. While at Wesleyan, Austin double majored in Government and the College of East Asian Studies, and was involved with the Local Co-op and various political campaigns around Connecticut. 

Born in northern Vietnam, Anna Nguyen ’22 (CSS, Economics, International Relations) has been living across the world in the UK, the US, China and Vietnam, working as a community advocate for DEI-related and educational causes everywhere she goes. Among other thigns, she is currently a Schwarzman Scholar pursuing a master’s degree in Global Affairs at Tsinghua University, after having recently received her bachelor’s degree with a full-ride scholarship as a Freeman Asian Scholar at Wesleyan University.

Jed Munson ’19 (East Asian Studies and English) is an editorial fellow at the Library of America in New York City. As an English major at Wesleyan, he received the 2019 Dorchester Prize for his thesis on the Korean demilitarized zone. He continued this research on a 2021 Fulbright open study/research grant in South Korea, where he wrote his book of essays, Commentary on the Birds, forthcoming with Rescue Press in fall 2023.

Miranda Zuo is the former Head of Admissions for the Yenching Academy of Peking University, and is now a Dean of Admission for Wesleyan University. She is an alum of Beloit College with majors in Education Studies and Chinese Language and Culture.

Join us for conversation and donuts!

Fellowships General Info Session (4/5)

Wednesday, April 5 2023 at 12:00-1 PM, Fisk Hall 201

Info session with Assistant Director of Fellowships, Erica Kowsz. Settle in with a slice of pizza and learn what fellowships are all about!

Fellowships offer funding and support for everything from undergraduate tuition to graduate school expenses, international exchange, research projects, art projects, and in-depth exploration of topics of personal interest. Fellowships also connect you with alumni networks that can be an asset in building a career that aligns with your talents, values, and commitments.

In this session, we will introduce the fellowships landscape, consider how to plan ahead for opportunities might be relevant for you in the future, and answer any questions you have.

All class years are welcome! Register on WesNest. 

Questions can be addressed to fellowships@wesleyan.edu.

International Education Week (Nov 11-18)

It’s that time of year!  International Education Week launches on Friday this week, November 11th, and continues for the entire week, ending on November 18th.  There are so many events and displays this year, including international foods, music, sports and theater.  There’s truly something for everyone!

For an overview of events, check out the website and keep an eye out as the events appear on WesNest in the coming days. 

Critical Language Scholarship

With a Critical Language Scholarship, you can spend 8-10 weeks of the summer doing intensive language study abroad in one of 14 languages that the US government has identified as critical to the national interest. CLS programs are fully funded and are offered at a variety of levels, as low as total beginning for some languages and beginning at intermediate for others. The eligible languages are: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, & Urdu.

The CLS national deadline is coming up on November 16. Students from any class year are eligible to apply, as long as they meet the CLS eligibility requirements. You can read up on those, find out about informational events, and start your application at clscholarship.org.

Contact Anita Deeg-Carlin (adeegcarlin@wesleyan.edu), Associate Director for Intercultural Learning, at the Fries Center for Global Studies, if you are interested in applying.

Goldwater Scholarship

The Goldwater Scholarship grants scholarships to undergraduates who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering (the full list of disciplines is available at the bottom of the Goldwater Scholarship’s eligibility guidelines). Both sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply, though in most cases juniors are most competitive. All applicants must be actively engaged in research in addition to their courseworkto be considered for this scholarship. The Goldwater Scholarship does have a monetary component ($7500 in the senior year those those who apply as a junior or $7500 in the junior year and again in the senior year for those that receive the award as a sophomore). But even more importantly, winning the Goldwater serves as a marker of early academic promise that can help students secure future fellowships, admission to graduate school, and other important forms of recognition and access that will be an asset to building a career in research.

The Office of Fellowships will hold an info session and Q&A with Goldwater Scholar Anna Fehr (’23) on Thursday, November 3 in Fisk Hall Room 209 at 4:30pm. Join us there to learn more! Freshman, sophomores, and juniors are welcome. (Come listen, even if you might apply in a future year, rather than right now!)

Those interested in applying this year should complete the pre-application (available on the Goldwater Scholarship website) by November 18, 2022 at the very latest. Reach out to fellowships@wesleyan.edu with any questions.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Have you thought about applying for a Fulbright? Through the Fulbright U.S. Student program, U.S. citizens who hold a bachelors or Masters degree can travel to 140+ countries to undertake a graduate degree program, conduct independent research, pursue a creative or performing arts project, or teach English abroad.

The final Fulbright Info Session of Spring 2022 is coming up on Wednesday, April 27 at 12:15-1:15pm at the Career Center in Boger Hall. 

At this event, a general introduction to the program will be followed by advice and insight from students from Class of 2022 who have just recently been named English Teaching Assistants. They will offer tips on the application process for those who are planning an application for the September 2022 deadline.

The info session is open to all class years (it’s never too early to get inspired!) and we will serve pizza for lunch.

Any questions can be directed to Erica Kowsz at fellowships@wesleyan.edu.