Recent Bates Recipients

Elizabeth Drake Drake named Watson Fellow
Bates College graduate Marian Elizabeth Drake '99 was one of 60 students nationwide selected to receive a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship in 1999. The $22,000 award supported a year of travel and research in Senegal and Romania, where Drake studied how political and social change has affected artistic production and funding for the fine arts.

In 1999, The Thomas J. Watson Foundation considered 185 candidates nominated by 49 private, liberal arts colleges noted for their quality and commitment to undergraduate education.

Drake, an art history and French double major at Bates, wrote her senior honors thesis on "Jacques de la Villegle's Affiches Lacerees: (Recomposing) Shreds of Consumerism, Primitivism and Popular Culture in mid-20th Century France." A member of the Bates concert choir and the chamber singers, Drake performed works by Bach, Mozart and Faure for her senior voice recital and was soprano soloist in a spring performance of Mozart's "Requiem."

During her junior year abroad, Drake studied French in Tours, France, and art history at Parisian universities. The summer after her junior year abroad, Drake returned to Lewiston, where she served as a marketing and public relations intern with the United Way of Androscoggin County in Bates' Ladd Internship program. She received the college's Charles A. Dana Scholar Award in 1996 for leadership and academic excellence.

Courtney Elf awarded $32,000 Beinecke Scholarship
Courtney A. Elf '00 has been awarded a $32,000 scholarship from the Beinecke Brothers Memorial Scholarship Program. Elf's scholarship award includes $2,000 upon completion of undergraduate studies at Bates and a stipend of $15,000 for each of two years of graduate study.

Elf, a dean's-list music composition major, plans to earn a doctoral degree in music and teach composition at the college level. At Bates, she has been a flutist in the Bates College Fighting Bobcat Orchestra and a member of the college's chamber singing and choir groups. She also has earned varsity letters in cross-country running and track. Under the advising of William R. Matthews, the Alice Swanson Esty Professor of Music at Bates, Elf will compose several musical works for her senior thesis during the 1999-2000 academic year.

Eighty colleges and universities nationwide are invited to nominate a student for a Beinecke Scholarship, and a maximum of 20 are awarded annually to students who demonstrate "superior standards of intellectual ability, scholastic achievement and personal promise during the undergraduate career," according to Thomas L. Parkinson, director of the Beinecke Brothers Memorial Scholarship Program.

Renee Leduc Leduc named Fulbright Scholar
Bates College graduate Renée A. Leduc '98 received a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research and volunteer work in the southern African country of Malawi, where she investigated community-based natural resource management projects and examined female empowerment in these sustainable development programs.

Leduc implemented an environmental education program through a series of capacity building workshops, encouraging women to take leadership roles in their communities.

As a Fulbright recipient, Leduc joined the ranks of some 225,000 distinguished scholars and professionals worldwide who are leaders in the educational, political, economic, social and cultural ranks of their countries.

In her four years at Bates, Leduc learned about the immediate area through her political work in Lewiston and throughout Maine. She was involved in several local and national political campaigns. During the summer of 1996, between her sophomore and junior years, she was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. She also served as a campus and community organizer for Maine Won't Discriminate, a referendum campaign to extend human rights protection to individuals, regardless of sexual orientation.

A double anthropology and biology major, Leduc was a member of the Bates College Democrats. She also performed on the French horn with the college orchestra and volunteered as a disc jockey for WRBC, the campus radio station.
During her junior semester abroad in Botswana, Leduc received mailings from the College informing her of research monies available for undergraduate science research. While in the Kalahari Desert, she faxed a grant proposal to the dean of the faculty that would allow her to continue her field research in Botswana later that summer. She received the Hoffman-Mellon grant and attended the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Zimbabwe that led her to do her honor's thesis on "Elephants in Southern Africa: Perspectives on Changing their Trade Status Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)." This topic found animal rights activists on one side of the ivory trade issue and entire villages trying to support themselves on the other side.

Melissa Leier Leier named Fulbright Scholar
Bates College graduate Melissa Leier '98 received a 12-month Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, where she continued her study of German literature as well as taught English to Austrian gymnasium students.

Leier took an interest in German language acquired as a high school exchange student, developed it into an appreciation of German literature during four years at Bates and springboarded her love of German poetry into the prestigious Fulbright award.

As a Fulbright recipient, Leier joined the ranks of some 225,000 distinguished scholars and professionals worldwide who are leaders in the educational, political, economic, social and cultural ranks of their countries.
"I had great experiences in Bates classes with some wonderful German professors," Leier said, crediting her adviser Craig Decker, associate professor of German, who helped to shape her year of study abroad, and Gerda Neu-Sokol, lecturer in German, who shared a strong interest with Leier in German poetry. Together, the two spent hours reading aloud and analyzing the poetry of Else Lasker-Schüler, Bertolt Brecht and Raine Marie Rilker in preparation for Leier's senior-year German comprehensives.

Balancing academic excellence with athletic performance, Leier was named an NCAA Academic All-American for each of her years at Bates, with the exception of a junior year abroad spent in the Black Forest city of Freiburg, Germany. A tri-sport athlete in outdoor track, cross country and Nordic skiing, Leier competed in the 5K classic and 15K freestyle events of the 1998 NCAA Division I Skiing Championships in Bozeman, Mont.

At Bates, Leier found time to mentor scholar-athletes at the Lewiston Middle School, to play basketball with teenage boys in a local half-way house and to coach a community running club for junior high school students.

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