Bates names four Phillips Student Fellows

Four Bates College students have been named 2002 Phillips Student Fellows, recipients of an award that provides major funding for summer research projects involving meaningful immersion in different cultures.

The 2002 Phillips Student Fellows at Bates are: Caitlin Cook, a junior from Long Beach, Calif.; Sarita Fellows, a sophomore from Natick, Mass.; Taiki Kubota, a junior from Madrid, Spain; and Julia Plumb, a first-year student from Nobleboro, Maine.

Ranging this year from $4,000 to $7,000, Phillips Student Fellowships support students who design exceptional international or cross-cultural projects focusing on research, service-learning, career exploration or a combination of the three. Projects must involve substantial immersion in a different culture.

The best Phillips Fellowships are challenging and transformative experiences for the students who undertake them. The Fellowships are supported by an endowment established through the bequest of Charles Franklin Phillips, fourth president of the College, and his wife, Evelyn M. Phillips.

Cook’s project is titled Legacies of Inhumanity: Oral Histories of Jewish Refugees in Mexico City. A history major, Cook will continue her studies of the Holocaust and its aftermath by researching the experiences of Jews who fled Nazi-dominated Europe for Mexico. She will contact Jewish community members through Tribuna Israelita, an organization in Mexico City, and will conduct and interpret approximately 15 interviews.

For The Traditional Clothing of Nigeria, Fellows, an art major, will build a portfolio focused on the contemporary-traditional dress worn by middle class urban women in Nigeria. She will make photographs and drawings, collect fabrics and discuss production techniques to expand the resources of the Bates Theater Department in West African clothing and to deepen her own understanding of the meaning of traditional dress in contemporary Nigerian society.

Kubota’s project is called Self-Evaluation and Social Perception of Biracial Youth in Japan. A student of psychology, Kubota will explore the experiences of biracial young adults, with one Japanese parent, who live in Japan. He will address issues of identity and “Japaneseness,” and will compare the experiences of his subjects with his own experiences as a Japanese Colombian growing up in Colombia and Spain.

In her Study of the Bombarde and Breton Folk Culture in Brittany, France, Plumb will examine a traditional Breton musical instrument, the bombarde, a folk relative of the oboe. A folk fiddler and student of ethnomusicology, Plumb will study the instrument and attend a wide range of events throughout Brittany in which it is featured.

The Phillips Student Fellowships, along with the Phillips Faculty Fellowships and Phillips Professorships at Bates, are part of the Phillips Endowment Program, an ambitious initiative of awards, honors and opportunities funded by a $9 million endowment bequest to the college from former Bates President Charles F. Phillips and his wife, Evelyn Minard Phillips, in 1999.

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