Ten Students Awarded Prizes for Exceptional Performance at Oxford

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April 21, 2014

OXFORD, United Kingdom – Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford (SCIO), the UK center of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, awarded 10 students in BestSemester’s Scholars’ Semester in Oxford (SSO) with de Jager prizes for exceptional academic performance.

The awards are given after each SSO semester, as well as after the Oxford Summer Programme (OSP). Students in both programs who are in good standing are automatically considered for prizes. Essays written for three SSO courses—integrative seminar, British studies and thesis—are evaluated for scholarly excellence by SSO faculty. Winning essays show originality of conception, ease of handling primary and secondary sources, professional handling of scholarly apparatus, lucid and stylistically appropriate prose, a sustained argument and effective rebuttal of counterarguments.  

Prize winners receive a book voucher for each prize. Up to 10 prizes are awarded at the end of each SSO semester, while up to three de Jager prizes are awarded after each OSP session.

Fall 2013 semester’s winners include:

  • Kelsey Chase (Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Wash.)
  • Sally Eaves (Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill.)
  • Aly Inouye (Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Wash.)
  • Kyle Luck (Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  • Jenny Newman (George Fox University, Newberg, Ore.)
  • Stephanie Redekop (Trinity Western University, Langley, British Columbia)
  • Kristabel Stark (Westmont College, Santa Barbara, Calif.)
  • Abby Stocker (Bethel University, St. Paul, Minn.)
  • Abby Swanson (Gordon College, Wenham, Mass.)
  • Daniel Thweatt (Bethel University, St. Paul, Minn.)

Top row from left: Sally Eaves, Kyle Luck, Abby Stocker, Stephanie Redekop, Abby Swanson
Bottom row from left: Kelsey Chase, Aly Inouye, Kristabel Stark, Daniel Thweatt, Jenny Newman

SSO, which is for students with a GPA of 3.7 or higher, and OSP, which welcomes a wider range of students, each give students from CCCU institutions a chance to experience the intellectual challenges of a world-class research university. When studying at SSO, students are members of Wycliffe Hall, one of the University of Oxford's 44 constituent colleges and halls. SSO students are also on the Register of Visiting Students of the University of Oxford, which gives them rights to use university libraries and other facilities, as well as attend university lectures. All OSP students are associate members of Wycliffe Hall.

“Coming to Oxford helped me understand where my own discipline fits in the larger academic landscape,” Stark said. “As a political scientist, I enjoyed living in a house with people studying literature and philosophy because it helped me develop a more nuanced perspective on my own studies. I loved sitting in desks at libraries where scholars have read for hundreds of years and feeling like I was participating in some still unwinding story.”

The de Jager prizes are funded by a generous donation to SCIO from Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager, who have a long-standing commitment to encouraging excellence in education and scholarship.

“Studying at Oxford connected me with some of the sharpest Christian undergraduates in the U.S., some of the best theologians working today and some of the most caring people I’ve known,” Luck said. “I suspect that my experience with SCIO will be truly invaluable for discerning my vocational calling and fearlessly navigating the academy as a follower of Jesus. What a tremendous gift!”


About BestSemester: The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities offers 12 off-campus study programs, collectively branded BestSemester®, which expand learning opportunities for students from CCCU campuses and are designated as culture-shaping or culture-crossing programs. Culture-shaping BestSemester programs are: American Studies Program (Washington, D.C.), Contemporary Music Center (Nashville), Los Angeles Film Studies Center (Los Angeles) and Washington Journalism Center (Washington, D.C.). Culture-crossing BestSemester programs are: Australia Studies Centre, China Studies Program, India Studies Program, Latin American Studies Program, Middle East Studies Program, Programmes in Oxford; and Uganda Studies Program. Visitwww.bestsemester.com for program details.

About the CCCU: The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of 175 intentionally Christ-centered institutions around the world. The 120 member campuses in North America are all fully-accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. In addition, 55 affiliate campuses from 20 countries are part of the CCCU. The Council’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth. Visit www.cccu.org for more information.