Junior Named Beinecke Scholar

Posted 05/16/07
When she first came to Wesleyan, Holly Wood ’08 never considered going to graduate school. But after a few Wesleyan professors offered encouragement and guidance, Wood has changed her plans and is looking into doctorate programs.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have access to a couple of extremely affable professors who were dedicated to helping me achieve my goals,” Wood says.

As a newly-named Beinecke Scholar, Wood will receive more than $30,000 towards her graduate education. Eventually, she hopes to become a professor of sociology.

Wood, who is majoring in sociology and government, is among 20 students across the nation to receive the scholarship. She is the first Wesleyan student to receive the award in 10 years.

“We are very proud of Holly,” says Vancenia Rutherford, associate dean of the college and dean for the Class of 2008. “Her academic achievements are very impressive reflecting a breadth of intellectual interests, and she participates in the community with verve. I’m confident that Holly will continue to make important contributions to her academic field.”

The Beinecke Scholarship program provides support to students planning to attend graduate school in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Since 1975, the program has selected more than 370 college juniors from 97 different schools for support during graduate study at any accredited university.

Wood hasn’t chosen a graduate school yet, but is looking into programs with “an emphasis on inequality and stratification studies, ideally with some offering of social policy courses,” she says.

At Wesleyan, she is a member of the sociology majors’ and government majors’ committees; a volunteer tutor for middle school students; and is co-founder of an online blog for Wesleyan students. In her free time, Wood enjoys crafting and playing video games.

Wood will receive $2,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school. Scholars must utilize all of the funding within five years of completion of undergraduate studies.

The Beinecke Scholarship Program was established in 1971 by the Board of Directors of The Sperry and Hutchinson Company to honor Edwin, Frederick, and Walter Beinecke. The program seeks to encourage and enable highly motivated students to pursue opportunities available to them and to be courageous in the selection of a graduated course of study.

For more information on the award to to http://www.beineckescholarship.org/.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor