The University of Washington has announced that 2020 Evans School graduates Elizabeth Esborn and Channing Nesbitt were among sixteen students selected for the 2020 Bonderman Fellowship. As Bonderman Travel Fellows, Elizabeth and Channing will be provided the rare opportunity to spend eight months independently exploring two regions and six countries with which they are not familiar.

This year, a new cohort of Bonderman Fellows was selected during unusual and difficult times. While UW Bonderman travel is currently on hiatus, the intention and spirit of the Bonderman Fellowship – to get to know other people and cultures, to go beyond one’s comfort zone, and to see the world as bigger and more complex than before – are especially relevant now.  While we don’t know when the 2020 fellows will be able to travel, we look forward to seeing what they make of this unique opportunity.

The broad vision of the Bonderman Fellowship is to inspire individual transformation by expanding fellows’ understanding of themselves and the complex, diverse, and interconnected world we live in. With this vision in mind, each fellow shapes their own learning and travel plan; though, they may not pursue academic study, projects, or research.

Elizabeth has crafted her itinerary with the goal of exploring local governance and infrastructure, both formal and informal, in other cultures. As a policy student invested in building more responsive, inclusive, and accountable community governance systems, Elizabeth is excited to learn more about how communities outside of the U.S. approach these goals.

Channing’s desire to obtain a deeper understanding of human connection has been his main inspiration for pursuing this fellowship. Channing’s areas of interest within this idea focus on healing, belief and redemption. Having the intention of complete immersion within the different communities in which he travels, he looks to discover and define his own story within these contexts. One overarching question that he has is: “how can we digest our own unique experience to better understand the universality that binds us together?”