Three Students Awarded Bascom Scholarships to Study at Oxford

by Andrea Fandino

Three students in the Mother Marion Bascom Honors program will experience the spring semester abroad at Oxford University in Oxford, England. Students will have the opportunity to develop a broader understanding of the world, different cultures and themselves, thanks to the Mother Marion Bascom Honors Scholarship Fund, a tribute to Mother Bascom, RSCJ, who developed the program based on her own experience at Oxford.

“Students who have this experience will learn to live and study outside of their comfort-zone,” said Alden Craddock, Associate Vice President and Director of the Bascom Honors Program. “They will be immersed in a world renown city and an educational system that will provide them with a new understanding of their abilities and challenge them to grow as people and scholars.”

The students, Jake Billingsley, Paula Curran and Madeline Seidenzahl, will depart for Oxford in January for a three-month academic experience. Students will enroll in courses of study through the “Don” system of Oxford University, which resembles an independent study with specially selected university faculty suited to the students’ areas of interest.

“I’m most excited about the courses I’ll be taking there,” says Seidenzahl, a third-year English and Communications major. “Because it’s a tutorial system instead of a traditional classroom setting, I’ll be working one-on-one in my studies, which seems like a fantastic way to learn. Also, I’ve never been out of the country, and I’m so excited to live somewhere new and take in a new place.”

To apply for the award, students had to submit a letter of interest, along with academic samples and references. “Two or three students each year are selected based on their accomplishments. Students apply for the scholarship and a committee evaluates and determines the recipients,” says Craddock.

“The fact that there are only three people chosen makes me proud of myself, and I want to live up to the title of it,” says Curran, a second-year history major. “I just want to represent Maryville highly because I think it is amazing they give out this scholarship. I’m so grateful for it, and I want to do my best and learn as much as I can.”

Billingsley, a second-year student majoring in English, says his love for writing motivated him to apply for the scholarship. He was honored and thrilled when he learned he was chosen for the opportunity.

“I know that study abroad will positively impact me. I haven’t done it yet, but I think we learn best when we are outside of our comfort zones,” Billingsley says.

Maryville’s Bascom Honors Scholarship Fund supports sophomore, junior and senior Honors students for a study abroad term at Oxford University. Up to three awards of $2,500 each may be awarded annually.