Congratulations to SCIO’s spring 2017 and summer 2017 de Jager prizewinners

Awarded at the close of the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford and the Oxford Summer Programme, the de Jager prizes recognize outstanding scholarly work.  The de Jager prize is facilitated by Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager, whose generous gift to each prizewinner is symptomatic of their abiding commitment to academic excellence.


Spring 2017


The prizewinners for spring 2017 of the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford, along with their sending institutions, are named below.


A few students reflect on their time on the programme:

In brief, Oxford was scholarship incarnate.  While my home professors often talked of academic tradition and discourse, it was always a dull concept.  At Oxford, however, the global community of scholars seemed to be suddenly embodied in a vibrant and enchanting town.  Its beautiful pubs, meadows, and libraries played host to the daily conversations of researchers and students from across the world.  My stacks of books and journal articles were no longer dry tomes—they were the vibrant efforts of a local community seeking wisdom.

Michael Taft

While I expected my tutorials to be unique and interesting, I could have never imagined how inspired and giddy I would feel after each one.  My tutor’s insight and suggestions allowed me to study the topics that most intrigued me, and this opened an entirely new realm of learning that I had never before encountered in an American classroom.  I was constantly encouraged by staff, tutors, and students, and it was this supportive community that enabled me to thrive in the most intense learning environment I have ever experienced.

Natalie Seale

For a moment, I was simply a student: a student who was able to sit at a desk in the corner of the library for 14 hours and write a paper, a student who thought deeply without worrying about being late for work, a student who took risks without losing precious time.  This newfound freedom helped me develop my academic voice.  If I hadn’t taken the plunge, hopped on a plane, and allowed myself academic breathing room, my future would look much different than it does right now. Instead of applying for jobs, I’m applying for graduate programs.  Instead of worrying about my future income, I’m worrying about my GREs.  Oxford allowed me a place to fall in love with academia and to pursue it passionately.

Moriah Chase

I’ve never worked harder or better than when I sat writing in the Bodleian libraries, just thinking that I was using the same books, touching the same stone, and even breathing the same air as some of the greatest minds our culture has ever produced.  There’s something in Oxford’s pervasive atmosphere of antiquity, competition, and prestige which simply compels you to do your best, to raise your game for this (justifiably) vaunted academic stage.  Enrolling in the SSO felt for me like I was a high-school pinch hitter being given a crack at the major leagues, and I’ll never forget the exhilarating feeling of being inspired—by my tutors, my peers, and the city itself—to become better than I ever thought I could be.

Joseph Kreider


Summer 2017


The prizewinners for the Oxford Summer Programme 2017, along with their sending institutions, are named below.

Name Institution
Karley Conklin North Greenville College
Rachel Green Palm Beach Atlantic University
Emma Greydanus University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Marielle Rottman Azusa Pacific University
Stanley Schwartz Cedarville University


Two prizewinners reflect on their time in Oxford:

Studying in Oxford opened my eyes to new dimensions of learning and enjoyment.  The atmosphere of ideas, competing amicably on the pages of great works and in coffee-shop conversations, was infectious.  My fellow students in the program were committed to fellowship, discussion, and faith, which multiplied the opportunities for growth.  Every moment, not just those spent in the classroom proper, was a chance to interact with a new perspective, experience, or viewpoint.  Upon the program’s conclusion, the first thing I did was to investigate possibilities to study in Oxford again.  I would recommend this program to anyone, as it met and exceeded every expectation I had in academic, social, cultural, and personal aspects.

Stanley Schwartz

It is a unique bunch who will fly across the globe just to spend their time in the library.  These people became dear friends who joined me as I walked the streets until I could not get lost.  We stopped at tea houses for rest, discussing all manners of things between sips.  Bike rides through the woods led us to sitting in alcoves of age old libraries.  The history and heritage humbled and inspired me; it gave me peace and taught me to be still.

Rachel Green

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