Unsure of her chances and walking out of a first-thing-Monday-morning class, Juhyae Kim ’19 needed a moment to process the news of receiving a Beinecke Scholarship.
“When it finally hit me, my reaction was to call my parents and celebrate with them,” says Kim, a linguistics major from Saint Charles, Mo., one of just 18 students across the U.S. to be awarded $34,000 for graduate studies.
“It felt so uplifting to know that there were more people out there affirming my desire and ability and become a more experienced linguist,” she adds.
Kim plans to enter a Ph.D. program in linguistics and is researching programs with an emphasis on fieldwork — an interest sparked in her Field Methods class with Visiting Assistant Professor Emily Gasser.
Her coursework, not only in linguistics but also in education and several foreign languages, prepared Kim for graduate school, building upon her long-held interest in languages.
Kim and the other Beinecke Scholars were selected from nearly 100 nominations of prospective graduate students “of exceptional promise” in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. They can also supplement the award with other scholarships, assistantships, and research grants.
This summer, Kim will gain hands-on experience with a linguistics fieldwork internship in China through the support of the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility. That builds on support she received from professors and advisors at Swarthmore more broadly.
“I initially had my doubts about my ability to be successful in grad school,” she says, “but their guidance and encouragement have given me the determination to pursue it.”