UW American Indian Studies senior Stephanie Riedl has received a 2015 Bonderman Travel Fellowship. Each year, the fellowship offers 14 UW graduate and undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in independent exploration and travel abroad. Bonderman Fellowships allow students to undertake independent international travel, and they may not participate in any program or organization, engage in formal study at a foreign university, conduct research or other academic projects, or travel with an organized group. These solo journeys are eight months long and are intended to introduce students to cultures, peoples, and areas of the world with which they are unfamiliar.
During the fellowship period, Stephanie plans to explore places with abundant biodiversity and a strong indigenous presence. Her destinations will include Mexico (Chiapas), Costa Rica, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Palau, Indonesia, and Iceland.
"During this trip I hope to be able to build new relationships and challenge my ideas about the world while I explore new communities and environments," Stephanie writes. "Because we leave a footprint everywhere we go, I would like to be intentional about where I spend my time and money, and hope to foster exploration based on foundations of respect, responsibility, reciprocity and accountability."