Student receives prestigious doctoral fellowship to study classics
St. Olaf College student Rebecca Frank ’14 was recently awarded a prestigious fellowship from the Jefferson Scholars Foundation to pursue a Ph.D. in classics at the University of Virginia.
The Jefferson Fellowship is one of the most highly selective merit graduate fellowships in the nation.
The $250,000 award will provide Frank, who is one of 17 recipients, with free tuition and health insurance for five years at the university, along with a $30,000 annual stipend and $7,500 in research funds.
The fundamental mission of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation is to identify, attract, and nurture individuals of extraordinary intellectual range and depth who possess the highest qualities of leadership, scholarship, and citizenship.
“Rebecca possesses all these qualities, and more,” says St. Olaf Professor of Classics Steve Reece. “She has demonstrated an extraordinary level of initiative and vitality throughout her career at St. Olaf.”
Frank was nominated for the fellowship by the University of Virginia Classics Department following her acceptance into the school’s Ph.D. program. The foundation then flew her out to Charlottesville, Virginia, where she interviewed before a committee and delivered a presentation on her past research.
“While I have presented scholarly papers to members of the classics community, this presentation challenged me to express my ideas in language accessible to those outside of the classical world and to articulate what I believe the study of the Greco-Roman past offers for us today,” says Frank, who plans to use her research funding to sponsor her attendance at additional academic conferences.
Frank has delivered scholarly papers at four international conferences in Greece and Canada. She spent a semester studying at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul and a summer excavating at the Antiochia ad Cragum archaeological field school in southern Turkey, where she will return again after graduation.
She recently presented her research at the Association of Ancient Historians annual conference in Montreal alongside St. Olaf Associate Professor of History Tim Howe.
“Professor Howe has been a wonderful mentor in helping me develop and hone my research skills in studying historiographical methods and my writing to present my research at conferences and in articles for publication,” says Frank. “The opportunity to immerse myself in these fields is one I am very grateful for.”