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Student successes honored

Published May 31, 2004; Category: STUDENTS

National awards recognize varied and rigorous work

A number of Dartmouth students won major national scholarships and fellowships this year, which celebrate the students' achievements and recognize the diversity and depth of their academic pursuits.

Melanie Chiu '04
Melanie Chiu '04

Melanie Chiu '04

Melanie Chiu '04, winner of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, says, "The stereotypical image of a scientist ... often consists of a bespectacled, wild-haired personage." Chiu is anything but that-"except in the mornings," she adds. She is a music minor and plays violin with the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra. She has also pursued competitive martial arts and has black belts in Tae Kwon Do and Kung Fu, and enjoys long-distance running.

But Chiu's primary interest lies in her major, chemistry, for which she has conducted laboratory research at Dartmouth as a Presidential Research Scholar and has been a summer intern at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. She will pursue a doctorate next year at the University of California, Berkeley to study synthetic organic chemistry, a field where Chiu found that she could "utilize the abstract laws governing the dances of the stars to not only understand, but also create a variety of concrete systems of vital importance in everyday life."

NSF Graduate Fellowships grant $30,000 per year for three years to approximately 900 graduate students in math and science.

Anna Hrachovec '04
Anna Hrachovec '04

Anna Hrachovec '04

As a Fulbright scholar, Anna Hrachovec '04, a film major modified with Japanese, will combine her academic interests in Japan, China and popular media. Hrachovec, who speaks both Japanese and Chinese, and has been an intern at the Beijing Bureau of CNN, will spend a year in Japan studying the Manchuria Motion Picture Association (Man'ei in Japanese). Man'ei was a propaganda tool the Japanese created in the 1930s "to popularize the idea of the 'liberated' nation of Manchuria [the region Japan had colonized in China] to both Chinese and Japanese audiences," she said.

Hrachovec's research will center on Ri Koran, an actress who became Man'ei's biggest star. Ri Koran was born of Japanese parents in Manchuria, but was advertised as a Chinese "sympathetic to the Japanese cause," Hrachovec says.

Hrachovec will study both Ri Koran's films and her publicity, concentrating on "the negotiation of gender and nationality during a time when fanatical Japanese patriotism was the predominant tone in popular media."

The Fulbright Program awards approximately 1,000 grants annually to American students for international study in more than 140 countries.

Jonah Kolb '06
Jonah Kolb '06

Jonah Kolb '06

Jonah Kolb '06 is one of only 16 U.S. students to be selected as 2004 Goldman Sachs Global Leaders. An Environmental Studies major, he said he enjoys spending his time in the Dartmouth woodshop and exploring the wilderness in New Hampshire, and has been a Trip Leader for the Cabin and Trail division of the Dartmouth Outing Club. Kolb has also been co-chair of the Programming Board, and is a Rufus Choate Scholar.

Kolb plans to pursue a career in corporate environmental risk management and business ethics, ideally as the executive head, whose position would require creativity, leadership, world travel and political savvy, he says. He said that "business, when aligned with social priorities, will serve as the catalyst for social and economic change" such as the transition to renewable energy.

Every year, 100 Global Leaders are honored worldwide, receiving $3,000 each for educational expenses.

Viana Turcios '05
Viana Turcios '05

Viana Turcios '05

Viana Turcios '05, a psychology major, has won the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Students of Color Entering the Teaching Profession. Turcios is working towards an elementary school teaching certification at Dartmouth, and has honed her skills by serving as a mentor at Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) and a teaching assistant for education and Italian classes.

Turcios, whose parents are immigrants from Honduras, says that her childhood and her education courses taught her about "the inequities in the public school system." This, combined with Turcios's experience working with special-education children, has led her to believe that "if children believe they are smart, capable, good human beings and have good self-esteem overall, they will get far in life," she said. "This needs to start out with more personal interactions between teachers, children and their families," she said.

Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships are awarded to 25 juniors who plan to pursue a master's degree in education and teach in public elementary or secondary schools. Fellows receive up to $22,100 over a five-year period.

Patrick Ward '05
Patrick Ward '05

Patrick Ward '05

Patrick Ward '05, winner of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, said he wants to pursue "a career that attempts to bridge the gap between scientific and medical progress."

A biochemistry and molecular biology major, Ward said he hopes "to become a successful researcher at a major academic medical center who makes groundbreaking discoveries in molecular biology and biochemistry that can be translated quickly into improved patient care." He plans to pursue both a medical degree and a doctorate, so he can conduct research and also treat patients.

At Dartmouth, Ward has conducted extensive research with Lee Witters of Dartmouth Medical School on "a key regulatory protein in several aspects of metabolism," he said. Ward is also a competitive runner with the cross country and track and field teams.

Goldwater Scholarships grant up to $7,500 per year for one or two years to approximately 300 undergraduate sophomores and juniors in the United States who study mathematics, science or engineering.

By SHIORI OKAZAKI '04

Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 12/17/08