Claire Cai '21 Wins Augustus Taber Murray Fellowship
The recent Fulbright fellow starts her Ph.D. program in German studies at Rutgers University this fall with financial support from the Augustus Taber Murray Fellowship.
Claire Cai '21 has won the 2022 Augustus Taber Murray Fellowship, which will help support her pursuit of a Ph.D. in German studies at Rutgers University, starting this fall. The Murray Fellowship is awarded annually to Haverford alumni starting graduate studies in English literature or philology, the classics, or German literature or philology.
Cai, a German studies and economics double major at Haverford, spent a year as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Berlin. “I sought to write socially and politically relevant lessons that highlight diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in some way,” said Cai. “It is possible to teach new grammatical concepts while facilitating discussions of important topics such as refugee rights and gentrification at the same time. By attending graduate school and, thus, having more opportunities to teach, I can continue my work of bringing DEI into every aspect of the classroom.”
Her time at Haverford included working as a teaching assistant for the German Department for three years. “My coursework in the Bi-Co German Department nurtured my love for the field. I found the intellectual collaboration, close text readings, and in-depth analyses of historical events and their impacts on literary development to be exciting and engaging,” she said. “Additionally, my coursework in the Economics Department enriched my understanding of German studies by offering another lens of analysis—much of my research in German studies deals with political and economic theory—and [economics’] emphasis on precision and structure shapes the way I process [and] write literary analysis.”
“In addition to her strong academic preparation for doctoral study and her active engagement in the Bi-Co German Department, the selection committee noted Claire's commitment to strengthen DEI efforts within German studies through future outreach to and mentorship of BIPOC students,” said Jason Chan, fellowship and career advisor and assistant director of the Center for Career and Professional Advising. “Inspired by her experiences as a woman of color in the discipline, her short- and long-term dedication to the field of German studies was clearly evident.”
Cai credits German studies faculty Imke Brust, Qinna Shen, Margaret Strair, and Assistant Economics Professor Saleha Jilani for their influence upon her academic, pedagogical, and personal growth, and for encouraging her to apply for the fellowship.
“[I am] absolutely elated and very proud to represent German studies,” said Cai. “ I hope my selection brings more attention and support for the Bi-College German Department, and I encourage students to consider majoring/minoring in German.”