Bard College senior Andy Garcia ’22, a Harlem native, was awarded a prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, which provides for a year of travel and exploration outside of the United States.
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Continuing its tradition of broadening the vision and developing the potential of outstanding young leaders, the Watson Foundation has selected Eugley as one of 42 students to receive this award for 2022-2023.
The Watson Fellowship offers university graduates with unusual promise a year of independent and purposeful exploration and travel – in international contexts new to them – to enhance their capacity for ingenuity, imagination, openness and of leadership and to foster their human and effective participation in the world community.
Each Watson Fellow receives a grant of $36,000 for 12 months of travel and independent study. Over the past few years, 24 Bard seniors have received Watson scholarships.
Andy Garcia ’22, from Harlem, New York, will visually theorize, through a photographic lens, what the present and future of the African diaspora would be like if colonization and slavery had not taken place.
Using their 23andMe findings as a route, Garcia will confront the grim colonial history that has caused fractures and gaps in understanding of identity among descendants of the African diaspora.
A graduate in photography, Garcia says, “Africans in the diaspora ended up in these places because of immigration, expatriation and slavery. By creating Afro-futuristic visual media grounded in my lens as someone whose identity has been fractured by colonialism and slavery, I will materialize theories about the future of the African Diaspora. This engagement with my ancestral history will allow me to rethink notions of identity beyond simple ties to the land in a global history marked by forced and coerced immigration. They will spend their Watson year in Spain, France, Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt and hopefully Pakistan.
A Watson Year offers fellows the opportunity to test their aspirations and abilities through an internationally cultivated personal project.
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Watson Scholars have become leaders in their fields, including CEOs of major corporations, university presidents, Emmy, Grammy and Oscar winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, artists, diplomats, doctors, inspiring entrepreneurs, professors, journalists, lawyers, politicians, researchers and influencers from around the world.
After the year, they join a community of peers who provide a lifetime of support and inspiration. More than 3,000 Watson Fellows have been appointed since the inaugural class in 1969.
For more information on the Watson Fellowship, visit https://watson.foundation.
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a residential liberal arts and sciences college located 90 miles north of New York City.
With the addition of the Montgomery Place Estate, the Bard campus consists of nearly 1,000 park-like acres in the Hudson River Valley.
It offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Music degrees, with specializations in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 13 programs; eight first colleges; and many dual degree programs nationally and internationally.
Building on its 161-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet the broader needs of students and increase access to liberal arts education.
The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York is renowned for its academic excellence, emphasis on the arts, and civic engagement.
Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by nurturing the thought leaders of tomorrow. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
Photo credit: Andy Garcia ’22, from Harlem, New York. By Eli Jensen ’22.