Three Cornell students — Gregory Halfond ’03, Brian Finucane ’03 and Adam Cooper ’03 — in the College of Arts and Sciences returned to campus after Thanksgiving break to learn that they had received Harry Caplan Summer Travel Fellowships.
The fellowship is awarded annually to outstanding juniors in the arts school and provides a $3,000 grant to the recipients for summertime travel and study in Europe or the Near East. The fellowship’s namesake, Harry Caplan ’50, was a professor in the Classics Department for 50 years. Well-known and loved by both students and faculty, his former students created an endowment for the fellowship in his honor following his death in 1980.
The fellowship is publicized during the fall semester in departments in which the grant is relevant.
Upon applying, students are chosen based on their application essay, stating their travel intentions should they receive the grant and their academic transcript.
According to Lynne Abel, the associate dean for undergraduate admissions and education, the faculty selection committee looks for a coherent, persuasive essay with an interesting proposal that is reflective of Caplan’s academic interests.
Cooper, a classics major, plans on using the grant either to travel on a self-guided tour through Rome or to participate in a six-week site-seeing program through Greece. “[With either trip], l get to experience what I’ve only read about so far,” he said. “I was excited when I found out [that I had received the grant]. I’m definitely looking forward to making the most of the opportunity.”
Halfond, also a classics major, became interested in applying for the grant in response to its publicity on campus. “The profile of interest it listed seemed to fit mine,” he said. However, Halfond was startled when he, in fact, received the grant after returning from break. “I had not been expecting it. I had [actually] forgotten about it.”
Halfond plans on using the grant to tour French and German museums, libraries and archeological sites focusing on his field of academic interest, and he hopes to use the experience to work toward his honors thesis next year.
While this year’s fellowship recipients have just been announced, preparations for next year’s application process should be underway soon. Arts students interested in the fellowship should attend the information sessions next semester.
Archived article by Ellen Miller