UVM Junior Receives Prestigious Beinecke Scholarship
- By Britten Elaine Chase
English major and aspiring poet Alexandria Hall ’15 has been awarded a 2014 Beinecke Scholarship. The Beinecke is a nationally competitive award that seeks to identify and support students who show great promise in the humanities, fine arts and social sciences. As a Beinecke Scholar, Hall will receive a $34,000 scholarship toward her graduate studies.
The Beinecke is one of the most prestigious graduate fellowship opportunities in the U.S. One hundred and twenty five institutions across the country are invited to nominate one student for the award each year; this is the first year that UVM has participated in this competition.
“It felt like an honor in and of itself for UVM to be invited into the Beinecke competition,” said Honors College Associate Dean Lisa Schnell, chair of UVM’s Fellowships Committee. “And indeed, we had some truly impressive juniors submit applications for the nomination. But when the UVM committee saw Alexandria’s application, we all knew we were seeing something very special. It is incredibly gratifying to know that the Beinecke Committee saw the same thing.”
A first-generation college student from Vergennes, Hall has distinguished herself as a gifted writer and poet at UVM. Through her coursework as well as through independent study she has produced poetry and has been invited to read her work in Vermont and in New York City. At UVM she has been a research assistant and a mentee to Major Jackson, a poet and Guggenheim Fellow at UVM. She has also attended the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference and has received the Breazzano Scholarship from the university. Her application was enthusiastically supported by her faculty mentors in UVM’s English Department including Jackson, Daniel Fogel and Huck Gutman.
An avid linguist, Hall has also excelled in her studies of Spanish and German,and has received awards for her coursework in the German department. Outside of her studies, Hall is active in the writing community; at UVM she is a writing tutor, as well as a member of the editorial staff of Vantage Point, UVM’s literary and arts magazine. Hall is also a writing mentor for the Young Writers’ Project in Burlington as well as for Vergennes High School's Walden Project.
Poetry is not Hall’s only artistic talent; she is also an accomplished musician as a solo electronic music performer with Tooth Ache. Hall has traveled across the country and performed at many music festivals including the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City and SXSW in Austin. She also released a full-length vinyl album this past fall.
The Beinecke Scholarship will support Hall as she continues to develop as a poet and a scholar. After she finishes her studies at UVM, she aspires to attend a joint MFA and PhD. program so she can continue to grow as an artist and establish a scholarly expertise that will satisfy her long-term professional goals of becoming a poet and a professor.
Hall is one of 20 students to receive a 2014 Beinecke Scholarship. The Beinecke Scholarship Program was established in 1971 by the Board of Directors of The Sperry and Hutchinson Company to honor the philanthropic mission and achievements of 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 graduate course of study. Since 1975 the program has selected more than 500 college juniors from more than 100 different undergraduate institutions for support during graduate study at any accredited university in the arts, humanities and social sciences.