Following a Passion: Claire Wright, Keasbey Scholarship

Claire Wright

Class: 2016

Majors: COL, Psychology, French

During the summer before my senior year I began thinking about post-graduate plans. As I talked to my class Dean and several mentors, I increasingly recognized that I was passionate about policy aimed at reducing and responding to gender violence. Throughout my time at Wesleyan I worked intensively on re-designing some of Wesleyan’s policies for the adjudication and sanctioning of sexual misconduct and my senior thesis analyzed medical aid responses to sexual violence in postcolonial nations. I knew that, eventually, I wanted to translate my experiences at Wesleyan into a more focused study of cross-cultural policy intervention. After expressing my interest in this field of policy work, both my class dean and mentors suggested that I consider applying for graduate school. I spent some time browsing different academic programs and ultimately decided to apply for the Keasbey Scholarship, which covers a two-year masters program at Oxford University. This fall I am heading to Oxford to study for an MPhil in Comparative Social Policy, focusing specifically on international responses to gender violence.

Throughout this application process, I worked closely with Kate Smith and I cannot stress enough how much I valued our conversations and her advice. The application process for fellowships and scholarships can be incredibly long, so here are a few friendly tips:

1) Find something that you’re truly passionate about: when you’re on your 15th revision of your personal statement, what really matters is that you care enough to complete the process.

2) Start your personal statement early: it’s much more fun if you have time to play around with ideas and write when you have the inspiration to do so.

3) Stay connected with your mentors throughout the process: my weekly meetings with Kate, and conversations with my mentors, helped me flesh out ideas, prepare for interviews, and stay motivated.

There are so many incredibly opportunities out there – even if you’re not sure what you want to do, I’d encourage you to stop by the Center for Global Studies and explore the options. Have fun!