Carson Duffy ’12 Named a Watson Fellow
Publication Date: 3/19/2012
Rhodes College senior Carson Duffy of Charlotte, N.C. has been awarded a prestigious fellowship from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation that will allow her to explore community building efforts in the post-conflict societies of Chile, India, Northern Ireland, and South Africa. The foundation awarded 40 fellowships this year out of 147 finalists representing the most prestigious liberal arts colleges in the country.
Duffy’s winning proposal is titled “All for One & One for All: Leadership Through Community Building in Divided Societies—Chile, India, United Kingdom, South Africa.” Says Duffy, who is an urban studies major with an education minor, “I plan to immerse myself in the community building strategies within these nations while also interviewing members of these communities about their perceptions of past violence and the reconciliation efforts that have followed. Furthermore, as I wrestle with understanding the relationship between the individual and the community, I hope to further navigate the manifestation of leadership through the process of community building.”
Established in 1968, The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship offers a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel outside the United States to enhance the fellow’s capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, openness, and leadership and to foster humane and effective participation in the world community.
A 2008 graduate of Myers Park High School in North Carolina, Duffy accepted a Bonner Scholarship, a service-based scholarship requiring hundreds of hours of community service, to attend Rhodes. On campus, she serves as co moderator of the Kinney Program working with a group of 24 students, with two students assigned to a specific aspect of the program such as education, health care and mentoring. In addition, Duffy has served as program coordinator for the Mentoring and Education area of the Kinney Program, and in that role matched Rhodes students with students of Central High School—one of Rhodes’ partner schools— to provide information about college and careers and personal development.
Duffy has been an intern with A Child’s Place, a nonprofit organization in North Carolina that helps homeless families with elementary-school-aged children. She says it was another internship at Memphis’ Youth Villages that sparked her interest in community development.
“My classes at Rhodes, my experience as a Bonner, and my involvement with the Kinney Program have given me a foundational understanding of the ways in which communities are built, torn apart, and sustained,” says Duffy. “I am excited to embrace the opportunity provided by the Watson Foundation to further explore the process of community development on a global and more diverse scale.”
Founded in 1848, Rhodes College is a private, coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences. It aspires to graduate students with a lifelong passion for learning, a compassion for others, and the ability to translate academic study and personal concern into effective leadership and action in their communities and the world.