Sarah Salino, who designed her own major at the College and will graduate with Honors Sunday, May 13, has been awarded a Fulbright in Germany for the academic year 2012-2013. Although she has not yet been placed yet, Sarah will be teaching at a Gymnasium, working with students and other teachers and providing curricular support in American Studies to students getting ready for Unversity study. Sarah is also being initiated into Phi Beta Kappa on Friday, May 11.
In designing her own interdisciplinary major in Geography Sarah combined courses from Geology, Government, and Sociology that together give her the tools to ask the question, “Where?” of social, cultural, and physical phenomena.
For her thesis, she explored the use of an area-based socioeconomic measure, in this case the percentage of residents of a particular census tract who live at or below the poverty line, as an indicator of chlamydia risk. This research, done in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, used a methodology intended to produce policy-relevant results that will contribute to state- and national-level efforts to address health disparities attributable to socioeconomic inequalities.
German Studies and Psychology Major Grace Brennan (’12) has received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to Berlin for the academic year 2012-2013. Brennan is one of two Fulbrights to Germany this year. Grace is also being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa on Friday, May 11, as a result of her stunning academic achievements at the College in both of her fields of study.
Rob Leventhal, Associate Professor of German Studies, has received the 2011-2012 PBK John D. Rockefeller Award for the Advancement of Scholarship. The award is given to a faculty member who has excelled in research and scholarship and made a substantial contribution to his or her field. The award was celebrated at the annual PBK Award Dinner on February 19. At the reception, Leventhal gave a short presentation on his research on the Emergence of the Psychological Case History in Germany, 1770-1820, which is the subject of the monograph he is currently completing.
From her first semester at William and Mary, Sara Caudill threw herself into the study of Japan. “I had wanted to study language for many years before college,” she recalls. “I lobbied for on-line course in high school, but it didn’t happen. William and Mary gave me the opportunity.” Sara has since taken full advantage of the many opportunities for Japanese study here, and now, as she graduates, the Japanese section is proud to award Sara the 2012 Japanese Book Prize.
In addition to language, Sara took a course on Japanese society with Professor Tomoko Hamada-Connelly in that first semester. The following year, she enrolled in Gross National Cool with Professor Rachel DiNitto. For her final project in that class, she brought a new critical eye to an old interest, analyzing the ‘cultural odorlessness’ of Pokemon. Other courses included Professor Eric Han’s East Asia History Surveys and language classes with Aiko Kitamura and Tomoko Katō.
In 2011, Sara headed to Hikone in western Japan for a semester, but her studies were interrupted by the catastrophic earthquake that struck northeast Japan on March 11. Fortunately, Hikone was relatively unaffected by the disaster, and the crisis helped Sara identify the issue to which she now plans to devote her career. “I developed a new environmental consciousness,” she says. “I arrived in Japan wanting to do one thing, and I left wanting to do another.” Now, she says, she is “on a trajectory of interest in sustained development in Southeast Asia.”
Sara began exploring this new interest last semester, in a special seminar on the 3/11 disaster. In April, she presented her research at a student conference, After the Quake: Japan Responds, on April 15th. The title of her paper: “Violent Rebirth: The Path to a Green Economic Recovery in Post-Fukushima Japan.”
The next step will be a stay in South Korea, where Sara will teach English and explore the region for one year, before returning to America for graduate study, where, she plans to focus on “clean energy development and environmental social justice in Southeast Asia.” The Japanese section wishes Sara luck as she moves forward and congratulates her on this well-deserved award.