Keri Lambert ’13 was recently named to the Beinecke Scholarship Program.
The program strives to provide substantial scholarships for promising student’s graduate education. The program rewards each winner $4,000 immediately before they enter graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school.
Lambert plans to use the scholarship to study environmental history at the graduate level.
“I am mostly interested in environmental history in Africa, especially West Africa,” Lambert said.
Lambert became interested in environmental history after taking a class with History and Environmental Studies professor Edward Melillo. Her specific interest in Africa stems from her experience last summer, when she went abroad to Sierra Leone.
“I got to hang out in rice swamps in villages in rural Sierra Leone. There, I got to see how our identity grows out of the land and how who we are has a lot to do with what’s under our feet,” Lambert said. “Being in nature and the environment I’ve grown up in have shaped me. It’s made me who I am and has shaped how I relate to other people. Not only does nature shape individuals; it shapes entire cultures.”
To obtain the scholarship, Lambert had to ask three professors for letters of recommendations and write a short personal statement.
“I think it was a cool process. It made me think about the future, where I could be in 10 years from now, which was an interesting experience for me,” Lambert said.
The College nominates one applicant for the scholarship and from there 20 students nationwide are chosen each year as scholarship winners.
Lambert is undecided on where she would like to attend graduate school, but would one day like to teach environmental history at a small liberal arts college.
“I’ve always known I will end up teaching, and I would like to be someplace where students are driven by pure interest and curiosity,” Lambert said.
The Beinecke Scholarship Program was established in 1971 by the Board of Directors of The Sperry and Hutchinson Company to honor Edwin, Frederick and Walter Beinecke. According to their website, the Beinecke program “seeks to encourage and enable highly motivated students to pursue opportunities available to them and to be courageous in the selection of a graduate course of study in the arts, humanities and social sciences” and focuses on students who “have demonstrated superior standards of intellectual ability, scholastic achievement and personal promise during his or her undergraduate career.” The program has selected more than 490 college juniors from more than 100 different undergraduate institutions.