Two Brooklyn College Students Named Jeannette K. Watson Fellows

Brooklyn, N.Y. — The Thomas J. Watson Foundation has announced that two students at Brooklyn College, Tien-Der Luo and Rebecca Khan, have won Jeannette K. Watson fellowships. This prestigious award provides exceptional undergraduates from selected New York City colleges with paid summer internships, mentoring support, and seminars along with opportunities for lifetime professional and personal contacts.

Over three consecutive summers, J. K. Watson Fellows may choose among prestigious internship assignments with nonprofit organizations, government service, or private enterprise. In the third summer, the fellows may apply for an international assignment. The internships carry stipends of $17,000 over three years.

A graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School, Tien-Der Luo, 19, is a sophomore with a double major in accounting and psychology. Since 2003, he has been involved with Progeny Vision Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving students in the emerging Bengali community in Brooklyn’s Kensington neighborhood. At Brooklyn College he has spoken before the City University of New York Board of Trustees on the effects of a proposed tuition increase on his family and three siblings, lobbied the state legislature in Albany to support CUNY, and attended various events reaching out to alumni and incoming students. In addition, he and three other Brooklyn College students are in the process of forming the Astronomy Society of Brooklyn College with the goal of restoring the College’s seven-inch telescope and circa-1936 observatory.

Rebecca Khan, 19, is a graduate of Edward R. Murrow High School who plans on becoming a teacher. At Brooklyn College she majors in creative writing, and is active in the Islamic Society, the Desi Culture Club, and Excelsior, a student newspaper. A volunteer at Beth Israel Medical Center, she originally intended to pursue a career in medicine when she realized during an especially entertaining and enlightening biology class with Professor Cathy McEntee that her true vocation was teaching. The daughter of immigrants, she hopes to use her J.K. Watson Fellowship to help the people of Pakistan and “show them that teaching isn’t just something to occupy a woman’s time but rather a way to make a real difference in people’s lives.”

This is the first year that Brooklyn College has participated in the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship. Fifteen New York City undergraduates were selected from ten participating colleges.

The Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship was established in 1999 by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, which was founded in 1961 and named after the founder of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). The Jeannette K. Watson fellowships operate on the principle that “talent is broadly distributed but only selectively developed,” and provide a set of unparalleled workplace and seminar experiences to ignite the professional and personal growth of students.

For more information about educational resources, scholarship opportunities, and special programs at Brooklyn College, or to arrange a tour of the Brooklyn College campus, please call the Office of Admissions at (718) 951-5001 or visit the College’s Web site at