Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.--Miya Buxton, a December 2001 graduate of Bard College, has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to pursue the independent research project, "Of Home, Body, and Landscape: An Exploration in Architecture," next year.

Buxton, a native of Seattle, Washington, is one of only 60 students chosen from nearly 1,000 applicants at 50 selective private liberal arts colleges and universities to receive a Watson Fellowship. The fellowship of $22,000 requires that recipients study and travel to countries that they have never before visited, and that they remain outside of the United States for no less than 365 days. An Asian art history major, Buxton plans to study domestic and sacred architecture in the countries of Benin, Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

"I want to study places where the separation between designer and user does not exist," says Buxton. "I plan to explore domestic space as it pertains to the expression of personal beliefs and aspirations, supplemented with the study and experience of sacred spaces that communicate these ideas to a larger group of people."

All Watson Fellows must use their fellowships for study conducted outside of the United States as well as outside of formal academic institutions. Other Watson Fellows will investigate topics like genetic resource sharing, spice production, trail maintenance, rural healthcare delivery, and traditional sailing vessels, traveling to all parts of the world. This program provides its fellows with an unusual opportunity to take stock of themselves, test their aspirations and abilities, pursue their own in-depth studies, and develop a more informed sense of international concerns.

The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program was begun in 1968 by the children of Thomas J. Watson Sr., the founder of the IBM Corporation, and his wife, Jeannette K. Watson, to honor their parents' longstanding interest in education and world affairs. This program identifies prospective leaders and allows them to develop their independence and become world citizens. Thomas J. Watson Fellows span academic majors from physics to fine arts.

More than 2200 Watson Fellows have taken this challenging journey in the history of the program. They have gone on to become college presidents and professors, CEOs of major corporations, politicians, artists, lawyers, diplomats, doctors, and researchers. "We look for extraordinary young men and women of extraordinary promise, individuals who have the personality and drive to become the leaders of tomorrow," says Norvell E. Brasch, the executive director of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program and a former Fellow. "The program is designed to fund the most creative dreams of our Fellows with a minimum of restrictions. The world is their canvas and we let them tell us how they want to paint it."

Bard College is a selective, private, coeducational liberal arts college with undergraduate programs enriched by research institutes and graduate programs. Founded in 1860, the College draws 1,200 students from all regions of the United States. Twelve percent of the students are from abroad, creating a diverse and internationally informed environment. The College's curricular strength is bolstered by innovative scholarship programs in the literature, arts, and science, including a collaboration with The Rockefeller University. For further information about Bard, visit the website,

For further information about the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, visit the website,, or e-mail

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This event was last updated on 04-22-2002