Puget Sound Students Awarded Prestigious Grants, Fellowships

March 26, 2021

Three Puget Sound students were awarded highly competitive grants and fellowships in recognition of their contributions in the fields of mental health research, social justice, and art history. This spring, Samantha Lilly ’19 was awarded a Fulbright grant, Jaylen Antoine ’22 received a Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, and Kyra Zapf ’21 was the recipient of a Watson Fellowship.

Samantha Lilly ’19

Samantha Lilly ’19

Analyzing Mental Health Care Systems
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Samantha Lilly ’19 spent time in Argentina studying the country’s mental health system as one of Puget Sound’s Watson Fellows. When the research trip was cut short, Lilly applied to the Fulbright U.S. Student program and was awarded a grant to return to Buenos Aires. Lilly will conduct qualitative research on the effectiveness of Argentina’s landmark 2010 mental health care law, which is designed to help destigmatize mental illness.

“I chose Argentina because I developed a profound love and appreciation for Porteño culture,” Lilly said. “I suppose, in the same way I was certain the Watson was right for me, I knew a Fulbright was what I was meant to do next. Not to mention, I felt I had unfinished business in Buenos Aires, and I knew that I was meant to return from the moment I left.”

Lilly graduated in 2019 with a degree in philosophy and an emphasis on bioethics. Since 1946, the Fulbight U.S. Student program has provided grants to recent college graduates to perform research or serve as English teaching assistants in 140 countries around the world.

Jaylene Antoine ’22

Jaylene Antoine ’22

Advancing Social Justice
In March, Jaylen Antoine ’22 was selected as one of 14 recipients of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship. The fellowship sends diverse student leaders to attend a summer study abroad program focused on leadership, intercultural communication, and social justice. Antoine was selected out of more than 300 applicants to travel to Dublin, Ireland for four weeks to participate in this year’s program.

Antoine was encouraged to apply by Assistant Professor of African American Studies LaToya Brackett, who also wrote a recommendation for his application. In addition to his academic work in African American studies and economics, Antoine is an active member of the Black Student Union and plays on the Logger football team.

“I hope that this inspires Puget Sound students to see that they're just as good as Ivy League students,” Antoine said. “Not only does this award go to myself, it's an extension of everyone who has supported me—this award really goes out to the people who try to make this campus community a better place for everyone.”

The Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship was established in 2017 by the Council on International Education Exchange. This year, Ireland’s Department of Global Affairs is co-sponsoring the program to honor the 175th anniversary of abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ meeting with Irish reformer Daniel O’Connell in Dublin. Previous fellows have traveled to London, England and Cape Town, South Africa.

Kyra Zapf ’21

Kyra Zapf ’21

Retracing the Silk Road
As a recipient of a 2021 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, Kyra Zapf ’21 plans to retrace the route of the original Silk Road through China, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Israel, Italy, and France to learn about the historic practice of silk weaving and dying, as well as how modern museums are helping to preserve traditional techniques.

“My intention for the project is to combine my love of textiles with my love of history and gain a better understanding of how museums can interact with textile artists working to preserve and profit from styles of weaving that are hundreds of years old,” Zapf said.

Zapf is a humanities major and also works in the theatre arts department’s costume shop, putting her appreciation of textile arts to use supporting student productions.  The Watson Fellowship provides graduating seniors with a one-year stipend to pursue independent research outside of the United States. It was established by the family of Thomas J. and Jeannette Watson to honor the IBM founder’s interest in education and world affairs.


Beyond Puget Sound
Puget Sound students consistently win or are shortlisted for competitive grants, fellowships, and postgraduate programs. Loggers go on to apply what they’ve learned in and out of the classroom as researchers, teachers, and community leaders, showcasing Puget Sound’s global impact. As Fulbright scholars, Frederick Douglass Global Fellows, Watson Fellows, Peace Corps volunteers, and more, Loggers are making a difference in the lives of others locally and around the world.