Government and Politics Major Earns Coveted Watson Fellowship

Friday, May 2, 2014

Arizona-native Trevor Farland ’17C traveled more than 2,200 miles to attend St. John’s University. Now, through the highly selective Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship he has been awarded, Farland will work as an intern at influential global organizations in New York and the Middle East.

A member of the Navajo tribe in Kayenta, AZ, Farland said he was shocked to discover that he had received the Watson Fellowship. “I really had no idea that I would win,” he said. “I didn’t think it would go any farther than the application process.”

Funded by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, the fellowship provides outstanding undergraduates at liberal arts institutions throughout the US with paid internships for three successive summers—two  in New York City and a third overseas. Farland recently learned he will be interning this summer at Mount Sinai Beth Israel as a research assistant.

“Trevor truly exemplifies St. John's values of academic excellence, hard work, and personal integrity,” said Jeffrey Fagen, Ph.D., dean of St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “The Watson Fellowship will undoubtedly open many doors for him. We’re all excited to see his talents recognized in this very impressive manner.”

Farland was chosen from a city-wide applicant pool of more than 125 undergraduates from 12 participating colleges. Each recipient excelled in both the written application and interview at the Foundation’s Manhattan offices. In addition to internships, Watson Fellows participate in rich pre-professional and cultural programming that exposes them to a variety of disciplines and national thought-leaders.

“This year’s fellows are a cohort of remarkable students whose interests and skills are as varied as their personal histories,” observed Chris Kasaback, director of the Watson Foundation. “We look forward to shaping a three year immersion for each fellow that propels a lifetime of personal and professional fulfillment.”

Though still a freshman, Farland is already thinking about using his Watson Fellowship to help select a career path. “Through my upcoming internships, I hope to narrow my focus,” he said. “Right now, what interests me is a career with Homeland Security or FEMA. I think either organization will give me the opportunity to help people in my community or someplace halfway across the country.”