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A new fellowship opportunity offered by the Watson Institute for International Studies will push Brown undergraduates to use innovative media tools to raise awareness about significant international issues.

To be eligible for the AT&T New Media Fellows Program, students must plan to pursue a project "that addresses a critical need in society" using new media, according to the fellowship criteria description.

Based on their proposals, up to 10 students will be chosen to receive the funding, said Geoffrey Kirkman '91, deputy director of the Watson Institute.

The fellowships will be funded as part of a $145,000 grant from AT&T awarded to the Watson Institute to support Watson's Global Conversation Web site, which aims to use podcasts and other new media to raise awareness about social issues such as poverty and global conflict, according to the press release.

Using new media to document student projects can contribute to the University's internationalization efforts, Kirkman said. "Audio and video are powerful tools to capture people's attention," he said.

The fellowships serve as one component of the larger Global Conversation project — students chosen to receive a fellowship will post their films, podcasts or other media on the Web site. Kirkman said the AT&T grant also includes provisions for research assistantships, which will engage faculty in the project, as well.

Students have "already been using (new media) to document important experiences," Kirkman said, and this new effort will formalize the process. "I am hopeful this grant can spur more activity."

"I'm convinced that Brown could be one of the real leaders in what students and faculty do with new media," Kirkman said.


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