ATHENS, Ohio (April 12, 2005) -- Ohio University senior Mark Watson of Rockbridge, Ohio, was one of 90 students chosen to receive a 2005 Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies.
Watson, also an Ohio University McNair Scholar, is pursuing bachelor's degrees in both painting and art history. He works as a curatorial assistant at Ohio University's Kennedy Museum of Art and has received honors for some of his artwork. His particular area of interest is cultural theory as it relates to non-dominant cultures. His senior thesis is based on the influence of cultural conditions on the art of Native Americans in Santa Fe, N.M., during the 1930s. He also is a past recipient of the Ohio University Provost's Undergraduate Research Fund.
Watson plans on attending graduate school in the state of New York at either Columbia University or the University of Rochester. His mentors are Ohio University Associate Professor of Art Tom Patin and Kennedy Museum of Art Curator Jennifer McLerran.
"I would attribute a large part of my success this far to Tom Patin, professor of theory and criticism, who from the start of my undergraduate years encouraged me to study difficult theoretical material that really helped put me ahead of the competition at most schools," Watson said. "I was also fortunate to have other excellent faculty members in art history and painting who encouraged me to think and ask questions. I also think my colleagues throughout the School of Art were of unusual quality; I enjoyed the challenge they provided in terms of creative thinking."
"Mark is an incredibly gifted student and I can't think of anyone more deserving," said Patin. "I think he's setting a great example for those students who are coming after him."
Winners of the Mellon Fellowship will receive financial support covering full tuition and fees for their first year of graduate study at any United States or Canadian graduate school, plus a $17,500 stipend. The competition began with a pool of 625 eligible candidates, which was later reduced to 281 semifinalists and 147 finalists.
Mellon Fellowships are designed to assist outstanding students and encourage them to join the humanities faculties of American colleges and universities. More than 2,000 fellowships have been awarded since the competition began in 1982.
"Mark has remarkable intellect and extraordinary accomplishments," Director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards Ann Brown said. "He has brought honor and distinction to Ohio University."
Watson, a 2001 graduate of Logan High School, is the son of Jim and Janet Watson.
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Editors: A photo of Mark Watson can be found at: www.ohiou.edu/NEWS/PIX/WATSON_MARK.JPG