May 12, 2010
WOOSTER, Ohio - Lindsay Brainard recently joined her brother as a first-generation college graduate after excelling in every phase of her experience at The College of Wooster. Now she has been further honored for her achievements by being selected as one of only two national recipients of the prestigious Davies-Jackson Scholarship.
The award, which is given annually to a first-generation graduate with an exceptional academic record, provides a year of graduate study at St. John's College, one of the most renowned of about 30 Colleges comprising Cambridge University. It covers fees and expenses, including room and board, and is valued at $50,000. The primary purpose of the scholarship is to provide an educational opportunity similar to the one received by the donor, who became part of the intellectual community and vowed to give back the gift he was given. Brainard, a philosophy major from Gustavus, Ohio, will pursue a master's degree in philosophy.
"Lindsay has challenged herself in every possible way at Wooster," said Henry Kreuzman, Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement, professor of philosophy, and advisor to Brainard. "She also embraced a number of activities on campus, and supported her fellow students. She embodies what Wooster is all about, and she is very deserving of the scholarship."
With a sterling academic record, and a long list of activities and accomplishments, Brainard was, indeed, a most worthy candidate. "I had her in class in her first year, and it was immediately clear that she was an exceptional student," said Kreuzman. "She showed the ability to read and
understand text at a very high level, and completely embraced what college is all about. It's hard to find a challenging activity on campus in which she was not involved."
During her four years at Wooster, Brainard served as a peer tutor in the Student Writing Center, a member of the Student Orientation Committee, a tour guide for the Office of Admissions, a volunteer in the Philosophy for Kids program, a student representative on the Educational Policy Committee, a resident in the Cross Cultural Living and Learning Experiences Program, and a participant in both Moot Court and Model U.N. She was also involved in the off-campus study program in philosophy at The University of St. Andrews in Scotland - one of the most challenging in higher education - and served as co-editor of Sapere Aude (Wooster's undergraduate journal of philosophical inquiry, whose name means "Dare to know"). She even spent a summer studying abroad in China. As a junior Brainard was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and recently received the Phi Beta Kappa Prize. In addition, she was a Powers Trust Scholar, a Resch Foundation Scholarship recipient, a winner of the Edward Taylor Prize for high academic standing, and a recipient of the Ronald E. Hustwit Prize in Philosophy.
Brainard's recently completed Senior Independent Study Project (Wooster's nationally acclaimed undergraduate research program) dealt with the linguistic properties of the word "knows" and how it relates to knowledge as a concept. "Hers was a graduate-level thesis," says Kreuzman. "She worked
with a complex philosophical problem and did so at a graduate level. She has already been accepted to a half dozen top graduate programs, but she will put those plans temporarily on hold while she pursues a masters degree at Cambridge."
Not only did the award recognize Brainard, but it also reflected favorably on Wooster. "About five years ago, the College made a conscious decision to be more intentional about putting our students in position to compete for these prestigious grants and fellowships," said Kreuzman. "Our advising center began to identify first-year students with academic potential and make them aware of
opportunities that would enhance their academic experience, including summer research programs. In Lindsay, we have someone who has it all."
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