Trevor Stern '22 Awarded Keasbey Scholarship
The religion and history double major is one of only two recipients of the competitive scholarship for study in the U.K., which he will use to pursue a master’s in religion at the University of Oxford.
The Keasbey Scholarship, which funds postgraduate study at Oxford, Cambridge, or the University of Edinburgh, is only open to a select group of students: graduates of just 12 American colleges and universities. Each of those institutions may nominate up to two graduating seniors every three years. This year, Haverford’s Trevor Stern ‘22 is one of the two scholarship recipients.
“I was absolutely elated,” said Stern of the moment when he found out that he’d been selected for the Keasbey. “At first I could not believe what I was reading on my computer screen. It was a dream come true, and took some time to fully sink in.”
Thanks to the scholarship, the religion and history double major, who is also minoring in global Asia and concentrating in Middle Eastern studies, will enroll at Oxford next year to pursue a master’s in religion. At Haverford, he has focused on Jewish history, inspired by his family’s background, and the Middle East and Asia, inspired by his time spent living in Egypt and India during middle and high school. Both of his capstone projects are about physical structures in Holocaust commemoration. For his history thesis, he is examining the way in which Holocaust monuments reflect the place and time in which they were constructed, and his religion thesis analyzes visitors’ embodied experience at the Jewish Museum Berlin.
“[Professor of History] Alexander Kitroeff first introduced me to Middle Eastern studies and the dynamics of the Ottoman Empire. … He has made a huge influence on my academic trajectory,” said Stern, who has been working on his religion thesis with Assistant Professor Pika Ghosh, with whom he took a recent research trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for his project.
“Not only has Trevor thrived academically at Haverford, but his Keasbey application also presented a compelling rationale for his proposed course of study at Oxford,” said Jason Chan, fellowship and career advisor and assistant director of the Center for Career and Professional Advising. “There was a clear connection between the research he has already begun here at Haverford, the research he will conduct in graduate school, and his future research agenda as a scholar of religion and history.”
“I specifically want to study religion at Oxford because of the program’s flexibility in allowing students to study two religions during the program,” said Stern. “I felt this would be perfect in allowing me to study Middle Eastern Judaism in conjunction with the other religions of the region. Oxford also has world-class centers for the study of five separate religious traditions, which I felt would be a phenomenal resource.”
In addition to his religion studies, he hopes to improve his Arabic and begin Hebrew language instruction as he prepares to eventually apply to Ph.D. programs.
American students who receive a Keasbey Scholarship are given full funding for up to two years of graduate study, including tuition, fees, and living expenses. (Stern’s master’s program is a one-year program.) Haverford’s last Keasbey Scholar was Robert Schiff in 2004.
Outside of the classroom, Stern is co-president of Bi-Co Chabad, co-president and co-founder of the Haverford Quiz Bowl Team, former co-president of Student Political Network, and vice president of Bi-Co Friends of Israel.
“Trevor’s extensive involvement and leadership beyond the classroom, from cultural and religious organizations to political advocacy and service groups, was notable,” said Chan. “Through his experiences engaging with and across different communities, Trevor demonstrates the ambassadorial qualities that Keasbey seeks in its scholars and would contribute greatly to campus life at Oxford and in the U.K.”