March 5, 2012 — University of Virginia student Grace Segars has received a scholarship for summer study at the University of Oxford from the Richmond branch of the English-Speaking Union.
Segars, 20, of Waynesboro, a third-year comparative literature major in the College of Arts & Sciences concentrating in German, Latin American and American literature, will attend a creative writing workshop at Oxford. The scholarship is valued at about $3,700.
"This will be a great opportunity to work with other students and writers from many different disciplines and universities," Segars said. "The English-Speaking Union does a lot to support language arts and education, and I’m really excited to have the chance to participate in this program."
The daughter of Dave Segars and Deborah Campbell, she is on the editorial board of the Oculus, the journal of the Undergraduate Research Network. She is a graduate of Grace Christian School in Staunton.
"I hope to develop as a literature student and reader of fiction," Segars said. "I feel lucky to be able to apply the skills I learned in U.Va.'s creative writing workshops toward a scholarship program like this one, and I look forward to meeting young writers from all over the country."
Paul Cantor, Clifton Waller Barrett Professor of English and Comparative Literature, who directs the comparative literature program in which Segars is enrolled, said, "Grace Segars is exactly the sort of student we look for in the Comparative Literature Program and we're thrilled that she won the English-Speaking Union scholarship. She is intellectually curious and independent, self-motivated and genuinely eager to experience other cultures. We’re confident that she will take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity and be an outstanding representative of the University of Virginia at Oxford."
Segars said she was surprised with the scholarship.
"I definitely never thought creative writing would take me all the way to England," she said.
The English-Speaking Union is a non-profit, non-political education organization committed to promoting scholarship and advancement of the knowledge through the effective use of the English language. It has 72 branches and affiliates in the United Kingdom and 50 other countries. The Richmond branch is composed of English and drama teachers, history buffs and Anglophiles.
— By Matt Kelly