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10/16/2012

Department of English Announces Fund to Support Graduate Student School Activity

Quick Facts

 The Lee-Bird Graduate English Travel Fund is made possible through the Winthrop University Foundation, funded by Dr. John Bird and Ms. Seung Lee.
 Graduate students in the Department of English, either part-time or full-time, can apply for supplementary funding for travel to conferences where they are presenting their scholarly work.

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John Bird

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- The Graduate Program of the Department of English is delighted to announce the establishment of a new fund, the Lee-Bird Graduate English Travel Fund, through the Winthrop University Foundation.

This fund was generously provided by Ms. Seung Lee and Dr. John Bird, Professor of English, to allow graduate students in the Department of English, either part-time or full-time, to apply for supplementary funding for travel to conferences where they are presenting their scholarly work. Students may request up to $250 dollars of additional funding beyond that provided by the Graduate School.

“This support will be invaluable to our graduate students,” said Dr. Jo Koster, Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies in the department. “Last year more than half our enrolled students gave presentations at professional meetings, demonstrating the high quality of their work. We are grateful to Ms. Lee and Dr. Bird for providing the means for many of them to afford the opportunity to deepen and further their education through making these important professional contacts and sharing their work with a wider scholarly audience.”

“My wife and I wanted to identify an area of financial need that affected English graduate students,” said Dr. Bird. “Increasingly, graduate students need to present papers and travel to academic conferences in order to advance their careers. We felt that providing some supplementary travel money was the best contribution we could make to help Winthrop English MA students in that area. Although each individual grant is not that large, we hope this money can allow students to conduct travel that they could not otherwise afford. Although our graduate school days were long ago, we remember that every penny counts.”

The Department of English makes a concerted effort to encourage graduate students to present their research in professional venues. In 2011-2012, graduate students from the Department of English gave papers at the International James Joyce Symposium in Dublin, Ireland; the International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities in Granada, Spain; the American Conference for Irish Studies in New Orleans; the Western Literature Association in Missoula, Montana; the Mid-American Medieval Association in Manhattan, KS; the Sigma Tau Delta International Conference in New Orleans; the Hawaii International Conference on the Humanities in Honolulu; and a number of other venues.

These opportunities not only contributed to the quality of their graduate education, but also aided their applications for employment and entry into Ph.D.-granting programs.

For more information about graduate programs in the Winthrop Department of English, see http://www.winthrop.edu/cas/english/default.aspx?id=20764.


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