The Barry Prize recognizes “dedication to the academic vocation”

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Victoria Xiao ’22 and Rachel Gambee ’21, who will both graduate this spring, will go to Oxford University next year, supported by the John and Daria Barry Scholarship, which was first awarded this year to Dartmouth students.

“The Barry Scholarship is unique in that students cannot apply for it directly. Instead, candidates are nominated by an independent body of scholars, in recognition of their academic calling and pursuit of truth. Because they must be recognized by senior scholars, rather than standing, applicants must be of the highest merit. We are delighted to have our first two recipients this year. It is a recognition of their successes and of the academic and community networks on campus that have nurtured them,” said Christie Harner, associate dean of faculty for scholarship counseling.

Barry Scholars receive full tuition funding, a generous living allowance, an annual research allowance, and an annual travel allowance.

Gambee, from Vero Beach, Florida, majors in religion and Middle Eastern studies. “In my graduation thesis, I study the intellectual roots of Humanae Vitae, Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical letter, which forbade birth control for Catholics,” she says. At Oriel College, Oxford, where she will read the MPhil in theology, Gambee will study how certain branches of theology intersect with political theory, examining “the role of faith in the theories of liberalism and the ethical questions raised by the influence of theology on public opinion”. establishments”.

She will be pursuing a two-year master’s degree in theology, specializing in Christian ethics. “American programs tend to focus on the history of religion, comparative religion, or the anthropology of religion,” says Gambee. “I want to go to the UK to get a better grounding in political theology, and theology more broadly, before returning to the US perhaps to enter a PhD programme.”

Xiao was born in the United States, but her parents live in China and she grew up in Beijing. A graduate in philosophy studying phenomenology, Xiao is interested in Christian theology. With a master’s degree in theology (New Testament) from St Cross College, Oxford, she plans to explore the “personal and immanent” dimensions of metaphysics. “We tend to think of ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ as separate things, but I think differently,” says Xiao, who has also researched topics related to political economy, with the help of from the Dartmouth Political Economy Project and Undergraduate Consulting and Research.

“Theology also provides an important lens for understanding political ideologies,” she says. Among the big questions she will ask over the next two years is one about her own future in academia. “The Barry Fellowship gives you the opportunity to think about how to build a career on a philosophical basis, and the financial support is a big help,” she says.

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