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Maia Yang ’13 Named Watson Fellow

Maia Yang

CONWAY, Ark. (March 15, 2013) - Hendrix College senior Maia Yang was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.

Yang, a business economics major and philosophy minor from Hot Springs, Ark., will study microfinance in Bangladesh, Rwanda, Vietnam and Peru.

"During my Watson year, I hope to study two lines of thought as I travel through Bangladesh, Vietnam, Rwanda, and Peru. First, I will see how women involved with microfinance institutions view this capitalist financial model. I want to listen to their stories and learn about their cultures, trials, and triumphs. Secondly, I wish to seek a possible answer for microfinance's statistically researched ineffectiveness by studying the interconnected nature of culture with these institutions," Yang wrote in her project description. "My year will be spent connecting with women while attempting to understand the complicated nature of progressing towards equality for women and poverty alleviation."

This year, from more than 700 candidates, 148 finalists were nominated to compete on the national level from which 40 fellows were selected. The 2013 Watson Fellows represent eight countries and 14 states. They'll traverse 75 countries exploring topics from coastal disasters to synthetic biology; from music therapy to the ethics of extinction; from digital landscapes to the global shark trade; from youth criminalization to independent film making.

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country's "Up and Coming" liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country's best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, Forbes magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit