Lauren Lyons, a history and philosophy double-major from Lakemont, Georgia, has been awarded a prestigious year-long Watson Fellowship for 2016-17. Offered by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, the Watson Fellowships offer college graduates a year of independent exploration and travel outside the United States. Watson Fellows must create, execute, and evaluate their own projects.
Lyons proposed a project to engage with the unique prison education systems in Norway, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, imagining the ideal configuration of prison education programs and exploring the potential of philosophical education within them. She hopes to learn from people who approach prison, education, and philosophy from diverse angles, including prison administrators, psychologists and philosophers working on issues of moral reasoning and criminology, reform activists, and prisoners and ex-prisoners themselves.
Since 1985, when Sewanee was selected as one of the Watson institutions, the university has produced 46 fellowship recipients, including most recently Rob Goeller and Kelsey Koontz, both C’14, and DeAndré Espree-Conaway, C’13.
This year’s class of 40 Watson Fellows was chosen from 152 finalists, and comes from 21 states and eight countries. The Fellowship recipients will receive stipends of $30,000 each.