2017-Ian Morse

Ian Morse

First Major:       History

Second Major:   Mathematics-Economics


300 Word Statement

The Marquis was a wandering activist. He fought for his idea of freedoms regardless of the location or people. He wasn’t afraid of a new location, because people are the same; only environments are different. He was a soldier, but he believed a soldier was useless without the right values. The marquis used his position to benefit others. This is the connection I feel to the Lafayette ideal – beliefs that became the human rights tradition.

Location has become a red herring for me. I’ve devoted over 20 hours a week to improving the campus paper’s outreach, ethics, and critical reporting – not because it is “Lafayette,” but because the same values apply everywhere. When I run across campus for a story, stay up until 5 a.m. perfecting print, and step outside my comfort zone every week, I ask, “How does this benefit campus?” Promoting dialogue, through a London-based NGO, or with TEDxLafayetteCollege, is a core value.

As is respect for the unknown. The marquis, a young Frenchman, stepped into an unfamiliar, turbulent region. I’ve been the first in recent memory at the college to study in Turkey, to study at Cambridge, and to receive a Dow Jones News Fund internship. With no knowledge of relevant languages, I volunteered in Greece with refugees last spring.

My degrees have not focused on one region or department, and neither have my study abroad experiences, thesis, or activities off campus. My thesis, in the postcolonial Tanzanian press, has little to do with a favorite subject, statistics, or one of my most advanced courses, a German seminar. Next year, I will be teaching English in a completely unfamiliar place, Indonesia.


Academic Activities/Awards – Total Years Involved

  • Class of 1910 History Prize (1)

Awarded annually by the department of history to the senior who has excelled in the study of history and who, in the determination of the department, manifests the greatest promise for responsible civic leadership and public service.

  • Excel Scholarship (1)

As a freshman, I undertook an ambitious research project on indigenous peoples around the world. We created a website and annotated bibliography to provide background theory on “indigeneity.” Presented in a poster symposium.

  • Digital Humanities Summer Scholarship (1)

In its inaugural year, I carried out a text analysis project on a Turkish newspaper and their coverage of dangerous protests in 2013. The Bucknell Digital Scholarship conference then paid me to present in the plenary session. I continue to work with the program to improve and expand its offerings.

  • Honors Thesis (1)

With little background in African history, I undertook a history thesis on the English-language daily newspaper in postcolonial Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

  • Merit Scholarship (4)

Upon enrollment at Lafayette, I received a merit scholarship worth $10,000 every year.

  • Three honors societies (1)

Phi Beta Kappa (General Liberal Arts honors), Pi Mu Epsilon (Math), Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics)

  • Study Abroad Twice (2)

Spring 2015: Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey. $2,000 scholarship.  Spring 2016:  University of Cambridge, England, UK.

  • Dean’s List (4)

Dean’s list all semesters.


Campus Service/Activities and Awards – Total Years Involved

  • Managing Editor for The Lafayette student paper (3)

I devote at least 20 hours a week (equivalent of a part-time job) to managing investigations, mentoring new writers, steering the paper toward new initiatives, managing editors, as well as my own reporting and designing. Since assuming the position, I’ve been able to reshape the paper and guide it toward a more online, breaking news, and visual focus, as well as bring new topics like finance and Easton reporting. I became a news editor in my sophomore year.

  • Writing Associate (3)

Since sophomore year, I’ve aimed to help writers across campus, whether in my job as a WA, or simply as a friend.

  • President of TEDxLafayetteCollege (1)

Before traveling to Turkey and becoming very involved in the paper, I became president of the TEDx club, advocating and organizing smaller talks outside of our standard two-conference-a-year schedule.

  • Grossman Web manager, Event liaison (3)

I have been in charge of the website and helped with programming for the time I’ve lived in the Grossman House for Global Perspectives.

  • Segment organizer and debate participant, Lafayette TV (1)

Helped organize a segment and participated in a debate about migration in a PBS broadcast.

  • Model United Nations (1)

Participated in the Harvard MUN conference with the club.

  • Jazz combo (2)

Played drums in the Jazz combo for three semesters

  • Various Breads and Butters Podcast intern (1)

“interned” as a fact-checker with Ben Cohen and Simon Tonev’s podcast that highlights the people associated with Lafayette.

  • German Club (1)

Participated in the German Club, practicing and helping learners.

  • History Club

Discussed history topics with the club over lunch for a year, and got to know the department.


Community Service – Total Years Involved

  • Volunteer for refugees (1)

For an exhausting nine days in the spring of 2016, I worked with a small team to bring hygiene and shelter resources to asylum-seekers on the border between Greece and Macedonia.

  • Youth Advisor, Index on Censorship (1)

Worked with the London-based NGO to put together an awards ceremony in London and publish on media freedom issues over the course of a year.

  • Researcher/Blogger, AMPGlobalYouth (1)

Wrote for the website on media freedom and Turkish politics.


Athletics Activity/Award – Total Years Involved

  • Ultimate Frisbee team (1)

Played on the team my freshman year.

  • Intramural soccer (1)

Played with two teams my freshman year


Special Interest – Total Years Involved

  • Dow Jones News Fund production intern (1)

Won a funded internship to work with The Journal News/lohud.com in New York over the summer.

  • Various publications (1)

Published articles for websites including The Digital Library Foundation, The Tab Cambridge, and the Mapping Media Freedom project.

  • Personal blog (2)

My blog is mainly short stories about the people I meet, but it also includes media freedom stories, refugee stories, and my work as a Lafayette DH summer scholar.

  • Languages (4)

I’ve kept up with my German from living there in high school, but I have also learned quite a bit of Turkish, and I will do a summer language program in Indonesian.



2017 Winner

Finalists 2017

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