SCIO Announces Summer 2023 Prize Winners

SCIO is delighted to announce the Summer Programme 2023’s Prize winners. The prizes are awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence in their British Culture seminars. 

The summer’s awardees include:  

 British Culture 

  • Bryant Magness, Milligan University
  • Tim Nisly, Southeastern University
  • Perry O’Connor, Liberty University

Bryant Magness (Milligan University), describes one of his essays, and his experience of his time in Oxford as follows:

At SCIO, I got to take Seminars on C.S. Lewis and the Classics and J.R.R. Tolkien. Both were wonderful experiences that pushed me academically and allowed me to think about literature and religion in new ways. In my essays on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, I focused primarily on the positions of these novels within their genres, first considering the extent to which The Hobbit should be considered a work of children’s literature and then discussing the ways in which The Lord of the Ring’s subverts and builds upon heroic archetypes. In C.S. Lewis in the Classics, my essays both considered the intersection between Lewis’ writing and pagan religion, broadening my understanding of the ways in which he integrated classical and pagan thought into his narrative and theological works. Both of these courses inspired me to think carefully about the legacy of important Christian authors and it was a joy to be able to learn about Lewis and Tolkien in the city of Oxford from some truly incredible tutors.


Tim Nisly (Southeastern University) recounts his experience of studying with SCIO as follows:

Studying with SCIO in Oxford feels like something I’ll remember for a long time. The character of the city is incredible, and I miss my short taste of the daily life there. Academically, the program stretched me to be a better writer and researcher. I feel totally confident in my grad program thanks to the investments of the SCIO tutors and staff. Studying literature (Gothic novels and the works of Jane Austen) in Oxford is an opportunity I continue to be grateful for.


Perry O’Connor (Liberty University) reflects on his experience of Oxford like this:

There is an aspect of the everlasting to Oxford. In eight centuries, it has gained and sloughed limestone, sprouted buildings, glutted libraries, blossomed in Shelley, Wilde, Arnold. Cycling to the Radcliffe Camera (to write an essay on Bacchus, or to read for class or myself), to Blackwell’s (to re-re-revisit international fiction), or to the Ashmolean’s classical statuary, I was struck by the past lying everywhere so thick. Reading Ruskin one day for class, I could recall seeing his memorial marker at Christ Church; later, Burton’s bust, or Blackwell’s Books, fresh from Brideshead Revisited. That ghostly weight would contrast enigmatically with the Dionysiac passion I would study in my courses: one on C.S. Lewis and his classical influences, one on nineteenth-century Oxford art criticism. There, I found Bacchus and the aesthetes. The “blessed rage to order” that unites Oxford’s heritage with its vitality manifests what I hope to embody as a scholar; at the very least, the company of the brilliant dead brings humility.

Perry Oconnor


SCIO wishes the prize winners a very happy and successful future.  

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