Two Bates seniors receive $25,000 Watson grants

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LEWISTON – Two Bates College seniors are among 50 students across the country to receive 2006 Thomas J. Watson Fellowships, $25,000 grants that support a year of independent research abroad.

The Bates recipients are Amanda Harrow of Hopkinton, Mass., and Andrew Stowe of Wallingford, Conn.

Harrow’s research project, titled “Keeping Kids Safe: Strategies for Protecting Children from Abuse,” will take her to New Zealand, Peru, Sweden and Uganda, where she will investigate a variety of cultural and institutional approaches to child protection.

For “Life on the Wing: Traveling Pole to Pole with the Arctic Tern,” Stowe will spend a year following the terns along their global migration route, working to expand scientific knowledge of the species and examining how it is affected by environmental policies in countries along the way.

The Watson Fellowship is designed to identify potential leaders and challenge them in ways that foster independence, a global perspective and adaptability to new cultures. It funds research that is on a topic deeply important to the recipient and conducted outside the formal academic environment and the recipient’s home culture.

For Stowe and Harrow, the Watson affords an opportunity to pursue research interests instilled by their parents. A psychology major at Bates, Harrow is the daughter of Sheryl MacGowan Harrow, Bates class of 1975, and Ed Harrow. The Harrow family has supported 24 foster children, a practice that sparked Harrow’s interest in child-protection issues.

She has pursued the interest through an internship with the Massachusetts Department of Social Services and through her Bates senior thesis, which has examined interventional approaches to domestic violence through service-learning work at the Abused Women’s Advocacy Project, Lewiston.

Stowe’s parents, Lawrence and Helen Stowe, are dedicated birdwatchers who passed this interest along to their two sons. The arctic tern “is one of the most incredible species of birds,” Stowe said.

He’ll devote of his time to field work, observing and counting the birds, and will also conduct interviews in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ecuador and Canada as he investigates how national environmental policies affect the terns’ fortunes.

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