WWC Student Earns Fellowship to Graduate School

Monique Acosta gets a full-ride to University of Chicago

By: Becky Beddoe

Monique Acosta, senior history major at Walla Walla College, recently received news that she has been awarded the University of Chicago Fellowship to study archaeology there following her undergraduate studies.  

The fellowship covers tuition expenses amounting to nearly $37,000, living expenses totaling $19,000 per year, and student health insurance.  In addition, she will receive two stipends of $3,000 each for expenses during the summer.  The award is for a total of five years, and will require varying practical teaching experiences.

After the school’s grueling application process consisting of her transcript, an essay of intent, three recommendation letters, a statement of her current student loans, and a twenty-page writing sample, Acosta was more than a little surprised to learn she had been given the fellowship.

“I had not expected such generosity on their part,” says Acosta.  “Having met some of the students and faculty there, I am excited to have the opportunity to study at this renowned institute.”

Acosta will be studying in the University of Chicago’s humanities division, in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC).  She will be specializing in Egyptian archaeology. Her minor concentrations will be in Syro-Palestinian Archaelogoy and Akkadian, the extinct eastern Semitic language of Assyria and Babylonia, which she has studied for two years already.

This PhD program entails five years of class work, the first two of which are spent doing the equivalent of a master’s.  After a review following her first two years, Acosta will continue her studies for another three years.  Following class work, she will spend one year writing her exams and a proposal for her dissertation, which is estimated to take between 3 and 5 years to complete.  All in all, Acosta expects to spend 8 to 10 years in this program.  When finished, she intends to teach at universities in the States and abroad.

“Monique deserves the recognition that comes with this award,” says Monty Buell, chair of the history and philosophy department at Walla Walla College.  “It shows what an intelligent, focused student can achieve.  Monique will be teaching at the university level in a few years.  I hope it can be here.”

Acosta will begin her studies at University of Chicago in September 2007.

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