Three students in the humanities awarded prestigious Mellon fellowships

Three Cornell students are among 85 students nationwide honored with prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Fellowships in Humanistic Studies for 2001, awarded by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. They are seniors Justin Schwab, majoring in classics, and Andrew Rabkin, majoring in English, and May 2000 Cornell graduate Jesse James, who majored in classics. Each will receive a fellowship that covers tuition and required fees for the first academic year of graduate school, including a stipend of $15,000.

Rabkin will join the Ph.D. program in English at Johns Hopkins University next fall. "I plan to study 20th-century poetry and poetics," he said. "The Mellon is great because it's one of the few sources of outside funding for someone going into English. It gives me the freedom to explore during my first year of grad school and gets my studies off to a good start."

Rabkin expressed gratitude to his adviser, Debra Fried, associate professor of English, "for her help and guidance during the application process."

Schwab's fellowship will support his first year in a doctoral program in the classics department at the University of California-Berkeley. "The scholarship is indeed a great boon," he said. "Without it, I would not be able to attend Berkeley – my first choice. I don't have much of a focus within classics yet, but I suppose Greek literature interests me more than Latin at the moment – specifically drama, most especially comedy."

Schwab credited the entire Cornell Department of Classics with helping him and especially, he said, his adviser, Kevin Clinton, professor of classics. Schwab also recognized the influence of Professor Angus Bowie, his tutor at Oxford University, where he studied during his junior year.

James has been accepted into the graduate classics program at the University of Virginia.

The Mellon fellowships, are designed to help exceptionally promising students prepare for careers of teaching and scholarship in humanistic disciplines. The fellowship is a competitive merit award for first-year doctoral students. Fellows may take their award to any accredited graduate program in the United States or Canada. More than 1,700 fellows have been named since the competition began in 1982. Mellon fellows now holding doctorates are teachers and scholars at some of the nation's top colleges and universities, including Cornell.

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