Magellan Scholars Climb to New Heights with 2016 Projects

Created: May 26, 2016  |  Last Updated: July 17, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged:

WASHINGTON, PA (May 26, 2016) – While most of the Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) community celebrated the 2016 commencement ceremony on May 21, India March was arriving in another country to complete a research project she designed herself.

March is one of 79 W&J students who was awarded a Magellan Project this summer – the largest group of Magellan scholars since the program’s inception in 2008. Her project has taken her to Dubai, United Arab Emirates to study architecture, and other Magellan scholars will soon be blogging their experiences from 35 different countries.

As one of W&J’s signature programs, the Magellan Project provides funding for W&J students to spend the summer pursuing internships or independent projects of their own design that extend liberal arts learning outside the classroom.

“Every Magellan class brings so many exciting, unique projects that reflect our students’ diversity in passions, talents, curiosities, and academic pursuits,” said Tyler Tenney, coordinator for co-curricular innovation. “[They] return with such profound learning experiences that will last a lifetime. A Magellan Project is just as much about what students plan as it is about the unexpected challenges and successes they have during their journeys.”

The students plan and organize their own projects, make their own travel plans, and then execute their self-designed curriculum with guidance from Tenney and other campus advisors. Their funds are used for a wide variety of research focusing on scientific, cultural, ecological and religious studies, as well as ventures in business, political science, health fields and more.

Student projects in 2016 include studying prevalence of the Golden Ratio in nature in New Zealand, the influence of Buddhism on business practices in Thailand, hiking 100 miles of California’s Pacific Trail to self-examine the muscular effects of up and down-hill strain, and studying immunization practices in orphanages in Bolivia. One student will study the art of filmmaking in Seattle, and another will serve as a baseball video scout intern for the Toronto Blue Jays – and that’s just to name a few.

The Magellan scholars will be updating blogs throughout their trip, which will be posted to the Magellan Recipients & Projects page later this summer.

To date, more than 400 projects have been completed in 50 countries, and the College has provided Magellan scholars with more than $900,000 in total funding. The College awarded a total of $187,000 in scholarships to the 2016 Magellan scholars.

“A Magellan is different for each of our scholars, and they each add a new meaning to this program,” Tenney said. “Magellan scholars create these experiences and succeed on their own terms. I feel this is a lifestyle which is emblematic of the educational spirit we promote at W&J – pursue opportunities to transform your life in a way that is reflective of who you are and who you will be.”


About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.