Students awarded prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship

Puget Sound seniors Kelsey Crutchfield-Peters and Haley Andres have been awarded the prestigious $28,000 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.
They were two of 43 winners chosen from over 700 student candidates worldwide and the only ones from the Pacific Northwest. Watson scholars are given the opportunity to pursue a research project in four countries for a year.
Haley Andres, a double major in painting and psychology, will be researching the use of art therapy in helping victims of trauma through their recovery.
Her project is titled, “Art, Trauma, and Creative Healing: Understanding Art Therapy in a Diversifying World.”
“Art has been very important for me, both academically and personally,” Andres said.
“I went to the University of Pittsburgh my freshman year and after having had a year that was personally very hard, I turned towards art as a tool to understand and work through things. Art has helped me to grow as an individual and as a student. I believe anyone can create and make art. The opportunity to creatively express one’s self could have the same impact for someone else that it did for me, they just might not have access to it.”
Andres will shadow a doctor in Tokyo, Japan who is helping victims of the 2011 tsunami through art therapy.
She will also do work in Melbourne, Australia at the Dax Center gallery, visit a circus therapy organization to help impoverished children in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and in Dar es Salam, Tanzania will build an art therapy program drawing from influences of African painting and dancing.
“I knew I wanted to get a very global perspective−a lot of my project has to do with gaining a view of how art combats trauma within different communities, not ones that are all similar to here in the U.S.,” continued Andres.
“I knew I wanted to visit western and non-western countries as well as industrialized and more rural communities. Australia, Japan, Bolivia, and Tanzania just kind of perfectly fell into place! I am most excited for Bolivia, where I will get to use my Spanish and develop my own creative youth programming for at-risk youth.”
Kelsey Crutchfield-Peters, a biology major, will research how many communities have had to relocate to new homes due to threatened ecosystems.
Her project is titled, “It Takes a Village: Placing Biodiversity Conservation in the Context of Native and Indigenous Communities.”
“I am very passionate about biological research and conservation,” Crutchfield-Peters said.
“I plan on pursuing advanced degrees in biological/earth sciences. However, I would like for my work to inform conservation policy and I would also like to participate in conservation work myself. This for me means combining environmental justice and social justice. No longer is conservation purely about preserving habitat and landscapes for me. It is about working with people who live on those landscapes to create sustainable living habits.”
Crutchfield-Peters will shadow scientists in Chile’s Juan Fernandez Islands and in Madagascar to seek solutions toward environmental conservation with the local people. In Borneo, she will study conservation of threatened species including orangutans and the proboscis monkey.
Finally, in New Zealand, she will meet with Maori land stewards to talk about their efforts of protecting Sooty Shearwater chicks.
“My project focuses on a wider range of negative impacts from conservation,” Crutchfield-Peters continued. “It focuses on the good as well, of course, but I was really just inspired by classes I took here at UPS like ‘Thinking about Biodiversity’ with Pete Hodum and then my personal experience working with organizations like the Student Conservation Association where I was doing conservation work here in the U.S.”
Andres and Crutchfield-Peters will leave this summer and, as part of strict Watson Fellowship rules, will not be allowed to return to U.S. soil for a year.
“I am very excited to be on islands for months at a time with nothing but my own passion to drive adventures and new thoughts,” Crutchfield-Peters said.
“I know that my experiences will change my life forever,” Andres said. “I don’t know how my ideas, perspectives, goals, etc. will shift, but that ambiguity and uncertainty is the most exciting part for me!”