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W&L Announces Winners of 2015 Johnson Opportunity Grants

Washington and Lee University has announced the students who will receive 2015 Johnson Opportunity Grants.

The 29 students will work within the United States and travel to variety of countries, including Spain, Palestine, Bangladesh, Argentina, the United Kingdom, China, Greece, Chile, Jamaica, South Korea, Nigeria, Vietnam, Belize and France.

The grants are designed to help them in their future careers and fields of study, which include geology, chemical engineering, business administration, economics, neuroscience, physics, mathematics, art history, journalism and mass communications, psychology, biology, sociology, politics, music, Romance languages, French, English, Spanish and Japanese.

The grants, which are funded as part of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity, cover living, travel and other costs associated with the students’ proposed activities and vary in amount from $1,000 to $4,500.

  • Stephen Ball and Franklin Wolfe, both junior geology majors, will use structure in form (SfM) software to construct virtual 3D models of famous geologic features and cultural sites in Europe. Sites include the outcrops at Montserrat in Spain, the Glarus Thrust in Switzerland and the Pyrenees National Park in Southern France. Ball is a Johnson Scholar from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and a member of both the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society. Wolfe, from Raleigh, North Carolina, is the treasurer of SEAL (Student Environmental Action League) and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Mohammad Abudayyeh, a junior from Palestine, will work for Beit Jala Pharmaceutical Company, the oldest pharmaceutical company in Palestine, where he will learn about quality assurance, good manufacturing practices and production of drugs such as Celex, which treats osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and trauma induced pain. Abudayyeh is a major in chemical engineering and hopes to use his studies to return to Palestine and improve the lives of its citizens. He is a member of Engineers Without Borders and the physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma.
  • Anna Paden Carson, a junior from Roanoke, Virginia, is a Spanish major with a minor in poverty studies. She will intern for six weeks in the Detained Adult department of Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (CAIR) in Washington, D.C., which provides pro bono legal assistance for detained immigrants. She will assist in legal orientations and educate detainees about their rights and legal options. Carson is a member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society.
  • Alexander Colleen Mahoney, a junior business administration major from Raleigh, North Carolina, will intern with Lela Rose, a fashion designer based in New York. The designer chose Mahoney through a competitive process to manage the e-commerce sales of the business, a convergence of technology and fashion. Mahoney tutors at Waddell Elementary school.
  • Daniel Rodriguez Segura is a junior economics major from Costa Rica, and will travel to Dhaka, Bangladesh, to intern for one month at Grameen Bank, a world leader in the growing field of microfinance, where he will learn financial implementation systems and loan policies. Rodriguez Segura is chief financial officer of the General Development Initiative at Washington and Lee and has worked as a research assistant in W&L’s economics and engineering departments.
  • Rachel Solomon, a junior neuroscience major from Jacksonville, Florida, and a Johnson Scholar, and will undertake medical fieldwork in Cordoba, Argentina, for 12 weeks. She has been selected for the InterCambioCultural program and will shadow doctors and assist with patients, at first in a pediatric hospital and later in an emergency hospital. Solomon is a varsity member of W&L’s cross country and track teams and a member of Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.
  • Katherine Uhlir, a junior English major from Boulder, Colorado, will travel to the United Kingdom for four weeks to delve into the archives of the Globe Theatre to research her honors thesis on performances of Coriolanus and Titus Andronicus. Uhlir is a tutor at W&L’s Writing Center.
  • Xiaoxiang Yang, a junior from Vermillion, South Dakota and a native of China, will intern at China Construction Bank in Beijing. Working in investment and trading, he will study financial products including bonds, stocks and foreign exchanges. Yang is a triple major in physics, economics and mathematics and plans a career in finance. He tutors at W&L’s Math Center, is a student teacher of Chinese and plays violin in the University-Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society.
  • Oyumaa Daichinkhuu, a junior economics major from Mongolia, will work in Athens, Greece, as a research assistant in the Center of Planning and Economic Research—a partner institute of the Hellenic Observatory and an economic think tank for the Minister of Development and Competitiveness. She will assist in the quarterly report on trends and medium-term prospects of economic growth in Greece. Daichinkhuu is a Bonner Scholar and a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.
  • Sophie Epstein is a sophomore business administration and art history double major. She will intern for 10 weeks with the Gagosian Gallery in New York City, where she will compose artist biographies, format press releases and help prepare the gallery for major meetings. Epstein is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and served on the auditing committee of W&L’s 108th Annual Fancy Dress Ball.
  • Jenna Faude is a junior from Sagle, Idaho, and a major in journalism and mass communications. She will work at Rawle Murdy Associates in Charleston, South Carolina, as a brand leadership intern in account services. Faude is creative director of the 2016 Mock Convention and layout and design editor of the student publication, InGeneral.
  • Addie Healy, a junior psychology major from Waterford, Virginia, will conduct research at the University of Virginia’s Early Development Psychology Laboratory with Dr. Angeline Lilliard. She will work with data entry, coding, data analysis, study design and participant recruitment. Healy plays soccer at W&L and is a member of Psi Chi National Honor Society in psychology.
  • David Heinen, a junior psychology major from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will pursue the Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Adults at the Chilean-Britannic Cultural Institute in Santiago, Chile. Heinen is a tutor at W&L’s Writing Center, and is a member of the Glee Club, Active Minds, LIFE and the Outing Club. He is also a peer counselor.
  • Ijezie Ikwuezunma, is a junior Johnson Scholar and a double major biology and sociology, from Richmond, Texas. He will conduct research with Dr. Minoli Perera at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago on a cultural medical phenomenon. He will assist in the project “Mining Genetic Variation Important to Warfarin Pharmacogenomics in African Americans,” which studies the variation in drug metabolism in the African American population. Ikwuezunma is a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-med Honor Society and Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society.
  • Griffin Johns, a junior geology major from Chicago, Illinois, will study fossils in the Bowden Formation in Jamaica with a fellow undergraduate student attending the University of the West Indies. They will co-author a scientific paper recording their findings. Johns is a Johnson scholar, a member of the Contact Committee and was a founding member of W&L’s Green Offices Initiative.
  • Meera Kumar is a junior economics major from Portland, Oregon, and will intern in the Islamic art and contemporary Indian art departments at Christie’s Global Headquarters in London. Kumar is a Johnson Scholar and a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.
  • Wonhee Lim is a junior from South Korea and will travel there to work as regional assistant director of Summer Programs at Hanvit Welfare Association. Lim will direct community outreach while beginning a community-based research project to ascertain the most beneficial and effective ways to present charitable afterschool programs. He is a Johnson Scholar and a double major in English and politics. He is also a Bonner Scholar, has served as a residential advisor for the past two years and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and University Singers.
  • Emma Payne, a sophomore from Atlanta, Georgia, will intern at Inslee by Design in New York City. Payne will assist with customer service and event planning while she furthers her knowledge of art history and gains practical experience in curating. Payne is a major in art history with a minor in museum studies and French. She tutors first grade students at Waddell Elementary School.
  • Scott Phillips is a sophomore neuroscience major from Charlotte, North Carolina. He will work as an intern in the Icahn Medical Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. The internship is primarily funded by Dana’s Angels Research Trust, and Phillips will assist in research to develop new treatments for Niemann-Pick Type C disease, a rare genetic metabolic disorder. Phillips is the student coordinator at Carillion Stonewall Jackson Hospital and a member of Tri Beta Biology Honor Society. He is a tutor at Natural Bridge Elementary School.
  • Cole Schott is a junior from Nashville, Tennessee, and will work as a campaign manager at Friends of Russ Pulley in his hometown. He is a politics major and will form initial fundraising and campaign coverage strategies. Schott is a member of the varsity swimming and diving teams.
  • Armani Smith is a junior from Mechanicsville, Virginia, and a double major in journalism and mass communications and Romance languages. He will be a social media intern at Fitz & Co. in New York City, working on in-house and client social media campaigns.
  • Nancy Stephen is a sophomore from Houston, Texas, and will travel to Nigeria to work for PwC, a global consulting firm, while also doing community service in the area. Stephen is a double major in economics and French, a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and is a student assistant in W&L’s Office of Admissions.
  • Emma Swabb, a junior from Erie, Pennsylvania, will work at the Washington Jesuit Academy (WJA) in Washington D.C., as a teaching assistant through the Shepherd Program. WJA is a middle school for boys from low-income communities and Swabb will screen incoming students, plan events and oversee field trips. She is a psychology major and a member of the Nabors Service League, and Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma and Psi Chi honor societies. She is co-president of SPEAK and a volunteer at Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee. Swabb is a member of the W&L swim team.
  • Chris Tran, a sophomore from Vietnam and a major in music, will travel to his home country to intern at MATO Corporation, a startup company that invents and produces educational board games for children. Tran will be a member of the team that improves the design of products. Tran will also study voice and musicianship with a leading classical singer, Ha Pham Than Long, in Hanoi. He is a member of Phi Eta Sigma honor society, the first-year orientation committee, the W&L Men’s Glee Club and the a capella group The Washingtones.
  • Tanner Waggoner is a junior from Scottsdale, Arizona, and will travel to Belize to study the growth and survival of staghorn coral alongside Lisa Greer, associate professor of geology at W&L. He will dig and retain coral samples then return to Lexington to analyze them in preparation for his senior thesis. Waggoner is a geology and business administration major and has served as a resident advisor since 2013. He is a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.
  • Wan Wei, a sophomore from China, will participate in the Hollins Program’s London Summer Internship, a seven-week program in the United Kingdom sponsored by W&L’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics in collaboration with Hollins University. The program combines internship, classroom study and exposure to British culture. Wei is a double major in journalism and mass communications and Japanese with a minor in music. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.
  • Josh White, a junior from Shoreline, Washington, will travel to Ambergris, Belize, to study economic development in an area that contrasts a tourist hotspot alongside native inhabitants living in poor conditions. He will volunteer at Raise Me Up, a local non-profit organization, and at Holy Cross Anglican School, a local school. White will identify future projects that can be funded by the General Development Initiative, a microfinance organization created, owned and operated by Washington and Lee students. White is a business administration major and the project is part of the Shepherd International Internship Program. White is member of W&L’s Venture Club.
  • Mary Ciera Wilson, a sophomore double major in English and politics from Gray, Tennessee, will intern with the Tennessee State Government. The intern program trains college students in public service, promotes active citizenship and allows students hands-on experience in the Governor’s Office. Wilson is a member of the Student Recruitment Committee.
  • Marshall Woodward, a junior from Houston, Texas, will visit Paris, France, for ten days to conduct research for his French thesis on the modernist art theory “mise-en-abime,” in which an image contains a smaller copy of itself in a sequence that appears to recur infinitely. Woodward is a double major in French and geology.