Congratulations to SCIO’s spring 2020 prize winners

Hilary 2020

SCIO is pleased to announce the spring 2020 prize winners.

The de Jager prize for the British culture and undergraduate research seminar is awarded in recognition of outstanding scholarly work submitted by each awardee during the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford in the British culture and undergraduate research seminar courses. Awarded at the close of each term, the de Jager prize is facilitated by Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager, whose generous gift to each prize winner is reflective of their longstanding commitment to academic excellence.

The SCIO alumni prize, also funded by the de Jagers, is awarded to students each term or programme for overall outstanding academic performance.

The prize winners for Hilary Term 2020, along with their sending institutions, are named below.

Prize Name Institution
British culture Yeau Ern (Matthias) Tan Messiah College
Undergraduate research seminar Rebekah Black Spring Arbor University
Undergraduate research seminar Coby Dolloff John Brown University
Undergraduate research seminar Anton Funk Dordt University
Undergraduate research seminar Kaylee Royster Baylor University
Undergraduate research seminar Conner Williams Spring Arbor University
Undergraduate research seminar Jonathan Williams Biola University
SCIO alumni prize Rachel Edney Gordon College
SCIO alumni prize Evyn McGraw John Brown University


Two students reflect on their time on the programme:

  • When I decided to spend my senior year abroad, I knew that I would love living and studying in Oxford. However, I did not anticipate how crucial the tutorial system would be for the development of my research interests in preparation for graduate school. Because I had the opportunity to choose to focus on questions in tutorials that intrigued me, I was better prepared to articulate my academic interests as I applied to graduate programmes. My tutors pushed me to think critically and creatively and were interested in the perspective I had to bring to my field of study. In addition, the relationships I made with tutors and fellow students have lasted far beyond the length of the programme. My year at Oxford encouraged and inspired me in my life as a scholar and as a Christian.

Rachel Edney


  • My time at SCIO was characterized by strong academic rigor and the blessing of community. I remember falling in love with dim libraries with endless walls of books, time forgotten as I researched. I remember the thrill of endless discussions with my tutors, who pushed me to ask questions and demanded not perfection but honesty. I remember the freedom of attending any lecture series I wanted, from philosophy to religion and from science and to language. I remember being amazed, when I felt overwhelmed and stressed, that I was comforted and supported by the friends I had made. I remember a crowded room in 8 Norham Gardens where we shared tea and biscuits each week and shared stories about our lives. I remember conversations with fellow scholars from other disciplines, conversations where each of us both learned a little bit more about the world and gained a little more insight into our own ideas. I remember dances and dinners and board game nights so full of laughter and joy. I remember the night before we parted where we prayed and sang and shared our talents with each other. In Oxford, I renewed my commitment to honesty and discovery. In Oxford, I found unexpectedly the blessing of love and community that enables each of us to pursue this commitment.

 Matthias Tan

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