Baylor graduates selected for notable graduate fellowship program

July 31, 2012

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WACO, Texas (July 31, 2012) -- Two Baylor graduates were awarded participation in the prestigious Lilly Graduate Fellow Program. Sarah Berry and Stephen Margheim, B.A.s '10 and '12 respectively, will participate in the three-year post-doctoral program.

"Sarah and Stephen were selected from a large number of nominations nationally, because they embodied the academic excellence, faith commitment and overall dedication to teaching that the Lilly program seeks to support," said Dr. David Jeffrey, a Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities at Baylor's Honors College, Distinguished Senior Fellow and director of manuscript research in Scripture and Tradition at Baylor's Institute for Studies in Religion. "Lilly Fellows engage in assigned readings and attend two conferences with their cohort each year for three years of their fellowship. Their attendance at the conferences and related book budget are fully supported, and they receive a stipend of $3,000 per annum on top of any other fellowships they have received."

Dr. Darin Davis, director of Baylor's Institute for Faith and Learning and assistant professor of philosophy, said that the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program "is an intensive mentoring program that seeks to nurture the next generation of Christian scholars and teachers in the humanities as they pursue graduate education at some the country's finest universities. Students in the program read together, build community together across disciplinary bounds and are tutored by outstanding mentors who embody the virtues of faithful learning and teaching."

Davis knew Berry and Margheim through their participation in Baylor's William Carey Crane Scholars program. He described them as outstanding young scholars with a keen sense of vocation.

"I am delighted that they were chosen for such a meaningful opportunity to join other young scholars in building Christian higher education's future," he said.

Berry and Margheim hope to grow as students and teachers through their participation in the fellowship.

"I would like to grow closer to the members of my cohort, use their insights to enrich my own scholarly work, and challenge myself to become a better thinker, writer and teacher," said Berry, who along with her degree from Baylor has received her master's in English at Boston College and will begin Ph.D. work at the University of Connecticut in the fall. "Being selected for this program opens up a variety of valuable opportunities for me. For the next few years, I will benefit from biweekly discussion groups with other graduate students in a variety of fields as well as our two cohort mentors."

Margheim will be attending the University of Pennsylvania to work on a Ph.D. in classical studies.

"(By being a part of the Lilly Fellows program), I know that I have the security of a solid, Christian foundation while working toward my Ph.D.," he said. "I wish to embrace questions that examine the role of faith in the Academy. I want to integrate the life of my mind with the life of my soul in order to become the best Christian scholar I can be."

Nominations for the Lilly Fellows program are made by faculty, after which nominees undergo a rigorous selection process that culminates in personal interviews conducted by a Lilly Fellows selection committee in Indianapolis.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University's oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 26 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit

by Mallory Hisler, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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