Three Dyson Students Selected for Prestigious Watson Fellowship

Amanda Ghysel
April 11, 2023

Three Dyson students—Yara Ammar ’26, Film and Screen Studies, Mariana Rojas ’26, Sociology/Anthropology and Environmental Studies, and Ellis Clay ’25, Political Science and Peace and Justice Studies—have been selected for the prestigious Jeanette K. Watson Fellowship, a three-year cohort experience that connects students from 12 New York City partner institutions to funded internship opportunities across the country and abroad.

“I've always been passionate about learning about different cultures, and after getting the opportunity to study abroad last semester through the First-year Experience in London program, I wanted more,” said Rojas.

Professor of History Bill Offutt, PhD, who serves as Pace’s faculty advisor for the Fellowship, noted that this is the first year Pace has had three students selected in his tenure. The highly competitive program takes four applications from all 12 participating schools for 48 total applicants, from which the final 15 fellows are selected.

“Professor Offutt was very helpful throughout the entire process,” said Ammar. “In addition to offering many information sessions and always being available to answer questions, as the process went on, he helped me narrow down my strengths and prepare me for my in-person interview.”

Students in the Fellowship are connected to three funded summer internships over the course of the program at leading nonprofit, for-profit, and government organizations in the United States and abroad, encouraging them to explore different career paths and fields of interest.

I’ll be in the spaces that will help me reach my academic and career goals by interning with different organizations and working with Watson mentors.

“It’s an opportunity to challenge myself differently than in my past academic and internship experience,” said Clay. “I’ll be in the spaces that will help me reach my academic and career goals by interning with different organizations and working with Watson mentors.”

In addition to engaging in internship opportunities, Watson Fellows attend cultural events and skill-building seminars, receive $2,000 in a “discovery fund” for conferences and entrepreneurial endeavors, keep a journal for an ongoing dialogue chronicling their experience, forge lifelong bonds with their cohort, and are connected to a Watson mentor.

Rojas added: “As Watson encourages self-discovery and opening yourself up to new opportunities, I hope my varied experiences during my internships help me figure it what exactly it is I want to do in my career.”

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