Six scholars win graduate fellowships

As seniors move towards the homestretch of their final semester at Williams, many of them wonder, with varying degrees of anxiety, what exactly they will be doing after graduation. A lucky few already know.

Recently, the Dean’s Office announced the recipients of the Dorothy H. Donovan Memorial Fellowship, the John Edmund Moody Fellowship and the Herschel Smith Fellowship. Students were selected based on their academic performance, extracurricular activities and interests, and an application process. Matthew Ellis ’03 received the Dorothy H. Donovan Memorial Fellowship and John Edmund Moody Fellowship, while Katharine Baker ’03, Andrew Howard ’03, Augustus Howard ’03, Cheng Hu ’03 and Jason Leith ’03 were awarded Herschel Smith Fellowships.

The Donovan Fellowship enables Ellis to study at Oxford University’s Exeter College and the Herschel Smith Fellowship will allow him to further his studies at Cambridge University’s Emanuel College.

Ellis will work on a two-year Masters of Philosophy program, examining the recent history of the Middle East and the Western world’s developing attitudes towards that region. “Oxford’s Middle East Centre is one of the best in the world,” Ellis said.

“I am especially looking forward to learning Arabic and studying and working again with the center’s outstanding scholars.”

Following his studies at Oxford and Cambridge, Ellis is uncertain whether he will go on to obtain a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies or pursue a career in journalism.

Most of the Herschel Smith Fellows will be working towards a Masters of Philosophy degree. Baker, a philosophy major, also received a Beinecke Scholarship for graduate studies in the humanities and social sciences. She plans to complete the third and final year of an undergraduate philosophy degree before beginning a one-year Masters of Philosophy in history and philosophy of science. Post-Cambridge, she hopes to get a Ph.D. in philosophy and teach.

English majors, Andrew and Gus Howard, who are not related, would like to obtain either a second Bachelor of Arts degree or a Masters of Philosophy in English. The second Bachelors degree would be far from redundant, since the British curriculum for English majors encompasses a whole new range of literary topics.

At Williams, Andrew Howard concentrated on contemporary American literature, but at Cambridge, he hopes to explore ancient literature, from the Renaissance through the Victorian novel to even Modernist works. In the future, he would like to become a professor. He firmly believes that the English major has provided him with a “great education in [a broad range of] field[s].” “It’s such a wonderful reflection of the diversity of our world,” Howard said.

Excited about the Fellowship, Gus Howard believes it is “a wonderful opportunity to continue and build upon what I’ve done here at Williams.” Having never participated in a study-abroad program, Howard looks forward to studying and living in a different country. Following Cambridge, he is considering further graduate work and can foresee a career in public service.

Hu is a triple major in computer science, mathematics and economics, and has chosen to study math at Cambridge for another undergraduate degree, after which he will continue his graduate studies.

A chemistry major, Leith will be working in a theoretical physical chemistry lab at Cambridge with the goal of obtaining a M.S.C. or a Masters in Philosophy. He looks forward to working in his fifth lab, continuing his trend of studying abroad, and joining one of Cambridge’s fine singing groups.

After Cambridge, Leith wants to obtain a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard or MIT, and would eventually like to become a professor and researcher at a university.