by Tony Moore
Now in its fourth year, Dickinson’s partnership with the University of Oxford’s Visiting Student Programme at Mansfield College is sending two more students—Michelle Martire ’17 and Evie Clapp ’17—to study in England next academic year. And while their pursuits for the year may be vastly different, the excitement propelling both of them serves as a notable link.
“The thought of studying at the University of Oxford seemed so dreamlike, imagining the views and the libraries, and how much of an impact this program could have on my life,” says Martire, an English major. “And after having read so many stories about other peoples’ adventures, I finally would like to create one of my own.”
Once at Mansfield, Martire will work chronologically and build a narrative on the development of the novel, its historical influences and the individuals who helped shape it. The approach will fit right in with the Oxford tutorial system, which encourages a spirit of intellectual independence and academic freedom.
“The academic environment at Mansfield is essentially an extension of Dickinson’s broad, liberal-arts offering,” says Clapp, a law & policy major who’s looking forward to becoming a denizen of the Oxford Union, one of the most famous debate societies in the world. “[It will help] me to see matters in new lights and to discover new areas of academic inquiry—elements of surprise that I find to be the best and most important parts of my education.”
Clapp is making plans to see her twin sister, who is studying at a university in Scotland, and the pair will travel together during time off to visit friends and family in the U.K. In Mansfield’s academic environs, Clapp will focus on philosophy, political theory and law, examining the relationship between law and morality and the mechanisms of politics.
“The opportunity to study in the same institution whose faculty and alumni alike have contributed so notably to the study of jurisprudence would give immeasurable value to my undergraduate work,” she says.
For both students, the experience will represent a defining educational moment while also transcending the realm of the classroom, becoming something to relish long after they return to the States.
“I’m going to England with an open mind and heart—I want to explore, live and learn,” says Martire. “It’s cliché, but I feel like this experience will be the time of my life, and I wish to take from it as much as I can. England is a mystery to me, and I’ll work to uncover it, piece by piece.”
Evangeline "Evie" Clapp is a law & policy major from New Rochelle, N.Y., interested in pursuing a career in government relations pertaining to issues of homeland security and defense after attending law school. At Dickinson, she is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, women’s varsity squash and Kappa Alpha Theta.
Michelle Martire is from Conway, S.C., and spends her time reading, writing and playing the flute. On campus she works as a writing tutor at the Norman M. Eberly Multilingual Writing Center. At Mansfield, she’ll be creating her own stories while delving into a study of the development of the novel.
Published March 20, 2015