Faculty Scholars Program celebrates the accomplishments of our most exceptional students

28 March 2017

Faculty Scholars Program student, Serena May (Arts/Law) and Director, Associate Professor Brendon O'Connor
Faculty Scholars Program student, Serena May (Arts/Law) and Director, Associate Professor Brendon O'Connor

The Faculty recently celebrated the achievements of its gifted students enrolled in the Faculty Scholars Program and congratulated the first graduates from this unique initiative.

Open to undergraduates enrolled in any of the Faculty’s bachelor’s degrees, the Faculty Scholars Program represents the top two per cent of the faculty’s cohort.

“The students who are accepted into the program are in the top 30 of up to 1,400 students, so it’s an incredible achievement to get into the program,” said the Director, Associate Professor Brendon O’Connor.

“Once you’re in, we throw everything from Buddhism to Shakespeare to Plato at you so there is an enormous challenge to be involved.”

The Dean, Professor Annamarie Jagose, said that while some of the Faculty’s leading teachers participate in the program, it is the students who make the program what it is.

“It is a program that our colleagues are delighted to teach into, creating environments where the students test their intellectual boundaries and our staff take their undergraduate teaching strategies to a new level.”

Associate Professor Brendon O’Connor added that the Program’s objectives are threefold.

“First, it is to provide new challenges for students that they otherwise would not have,” he said.

“Second, it is the chance to be part of a unique cohort experience and third it is the opportunity to meet leading members of the Faculty.”

Faculty Scholars Program student, Alisha Brown (Arts (Media & Communications))
Faculty Scholars Program student, Alisha Brown (Arts (Media & Communications))

Arts/Law student, Serena May, who will shortly graduate with her BA, was among the first cohort of the program and said it was a privilege to be part of such a special scheme.

“The Faculty Scholars program has been the most inspiring part of my university education,” she said.

“It would be amiss of me not to mention the formidable professors and course co-ordinators who stimulated and guided our discussions, and gave interpretations of the texts we studied that I will remember long after the completion of my degree,” she said.

“Moreover, the feedback I received from the assessments in the course has been the most critical and the most valuable I have received, and I am so grateful.”

The Faculty Scholars Program led Serena to apply for a scholarship with the Charles Perkins Centre, which allowed her to conduct research in public health law, forming the basis of a paper in development for an academic journal.

“It is rare to find a course that is targeted towards high-achieving students, and that is unapologetically challenging and intellectually rigorous,” she added.

Third year Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) student, Alisha Brown, viewed the scheme as a reward that she was extremely proud of.

“But more than anything else, it is an opportunity,” she said.

“It’s an opportunity to stretch yourself, to learn of people and ideas and places that you wouldn’t have come across within your field of study.

“It isn’t just a pretty addition to your CV - it’s your gateway to so many things.”

Discover more:

Faculty Scholars Program