Becker and Welch recipients of Wattles Fellowship

NASHVILLE – Vanderbilt student-athletes Melanie Becker and Jackie Welch have been selected as recipients of the Walter C. Wattles Fellowship and will spend a year working at Lloyds of London, one of the largest insurance marketplaces in the world.

The Wattles Fellowship at Lloyds of London is awarded annually at Vanderbilt. After writing an essay and going through three rounds of interviews, three graduating female students at Vanderbilt are selected for the fellowship, which takes place in London for one year at a Lloyds of London affiliated business.

The fellowship offers its participants a unique opportunity to experience the international insurance market and develop skills that have proven to be transferable into many other industries.

The fellowship seeks confident young women who would excel in a male-dominated industry and welcome the challenge of stepping outside their comfort zone. Becker and Welch have proven such skills in their time as student-athletes with Vanderbilt lacrosse and soccer, respectively.

“Being able to accept this offer for the Wattles Fellowship makes me feel so grateful for the opportunities that Vanderbilt has given me,” Welch said. “Even though I’m graduating, I was allowed this experience in London because of my commitment to the soccer team and the academics at Vanderbilt.

“I would have never been able to do this without going to Vanderbilt. I couldn’t be more excited for what my future holds.”

Welch has spent the past three seasons at Vanderbilt and has yet to miss a game since she’s been a Commodore. She has registered six goals in her time here. She was named to the 2016 First Year SEC Academic Honor Roll and the 2017 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll.

She was a key part in the Commodores’ first SEC Championship since 1994. She also helped the Dores reach their longest unbeaten streak with a 16-game streak earlier this season. The Dores are currently in the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they will play Baylor at 7 p.m. CT on Friday.

In the summer of 2017, Becker and Welch spent 10 days together in Jamaica working with Soles4Souls through Vanderbilt athletics.

“I am really looking forward to this year to gain international business experience right out of college,” Becker said. “It definitely is a one of a kind experience that I really wanted.”

In the past two seasons, Becker has started every game for the Commodores. She currently has 38 goals in her career with 19 assists to go along with it. Like Welch, she was also named to the 2016 First Year SEC Academic Honor Roll and the 2017 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Learn more about the Wattles Fellowship here: