Asheville student named Philip J. Otis Fellow

Matthew Ensner, a Bates College sophomore from Asheville, N.C., has been named a Philip J. Otis Fellow and will receive a $5,000 grant for research and travel to promote greater understanding of environmental issues and the connection between the environment and spirituality.

Before spending August 1998 in Alaska’s Denali National Forest, where he will document his back-country experiences in photographs and writing, Ensner will complete photography and writing workshops at the Creative Photographic Arts Center in Lewiston and the Rockport Art Institute in Rockport, Maine. Upon returning from Alaska, Ensner will complete a month-long nature and environment photography workshop at the Rockport Art Institute. His project will conclude with a portfolio presentation and lecture to the Bates College community in October 1998.

Ensner, an environmental studies major with a secondary concentration in French, has been co-coordinator for the Bates College Environmental Coalition. A 1996 graduate of Asheville High School, he is the son of Amy Edwards and Mark Ensner of Asheville, N.C.

Established in 1996 by Margaret V.B. and C. Angus Wurtele, the Philip J. Otis Endowment commemorates their son, Philip, a member of the Bates class of 1995, who died attempting to rescue an injured climber on Mount Rainier in August 1995. Otis was deeply concerned about nurturing a sense of responsibility for the natural environment, and the endowment sponsors opportunities for study, exploration and reflection by students, faculty and other members of the Bates community. The endowment also supports an annual lectureship on environmental issues and the spiritual and moral dimensions of ecology.

Located midway between the coast and mountains in south- central Maine, Bates is a 143-year-old undergraduate college of the liberal arts and sciences and is rated among the top 20 national liberal-arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report. Bates offers majors in 23 academic departments and six interdisciplinary programs, and encourages independent study, research with faculty members and participation in off-campus programs. Bates does not require standardized-test results for admission.

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