Becca Keener '17, Shannon Osaka '17, and Holly Muir were named the recipients of the Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship. Keener and Osaka, current University seniors, will be using their scholarship to further their education abroad, while Muir, a recent Oxford graduate, will be spending a year as a graduate student at the University.
Keener expressed her excitement about the announcement.
“I got a text saying ‘Come to Café Viv tomorrow at 8:30.’ I got there, sat down and they were like well … 'You won!' That was really shocking, because they’re very sneaky about it, so I didn’t expect it. It was a very exciting time,” she said.
Keener will be studying at the London School of Economics, where she will continue the research that she has been pursuing at the University as a religion major.
“My research is generally about the intersection of religion and law, looking at the effects of engagement with religion on foreign policy, particularly in Syria focusing on immigration, multiculturalism, minority rights and the policy of that," Keener said. "With this program, I’ll be able to try and understand the responses to it which have been quite violent."
Keener expressed her gratitude for this scholarship in allowing her to attend graduate school as well as allowing her to spend more time in London. This scholarship, which aims to broaden its recipient’s world views via opportunities in international study, was made to commemorate Daniel Sachs ‘60, a University athlete and Rhodes Scholar. His death at age 28 ended his studies. This scholarship aims to give young students with the same drive and ambition to benefit the public as Sachs a chance to further their studies in a setting abroad, according to the scholarship's website.
Muir, having recently received an undergraduate degree in fine arts from Oxford University, thinks that this scholarship will help make her a better artist by making her work more accessible to the public world of art.
“I have a fascination with storytelling, and I’ve always loved literature so that’s what I’ll be studying at Princeton," she said. "I began interpreting literature with my art and began telling my own stories, more socially and politically motivated pieces, but now I really want to explore the side of the narrative of my love of literature. And being informed about that will make me a better artist and make my art a lot more useful.”
Muir is excited to be going back to the world of academia, especially overseas.
“I didn’t think I’d be able to go back to university so soon after finishing my first degree," Muir said. "I so enjoyed my undergraduate [years], I felt as if I was just beginning to grasp my potential, and what I could do with my work. So it’s wonderful to go back into that. And in a different country as well, the exchange students I met from America in Oxford were always the most enthusiastic, fascinating people, so I’m excited to be surrounded by them and what I can learn from them as well.”
Osaka, an independent concentrator in the interdisciplinary subjects of environmental science and environmental studies, is also looking forward to furthering her work with this scholarship.
"My ultimate hope is to bring lessons from history and anthropology into the environmental sector, helping NGOs, nonprofits and governments integrate their work with local cultures and belief," said Osaka in an email. "Oxford has a Geography department which combines the sociocultural aspects of the environment with the scientific aspects, and I can't wait to be embedded in this truly interdisciplinary department with like-minded students and faculty," she wrote.