Baylor Graduate Receives Prestigious Barry Scholarship to Study at Oxford
By Cameron Barbier, Senior Marketing Specialist
WACO, Texas (July 28, 2021) – Baylor University alumna Katerina Levinson, B.A. ’17, has been awarded the Barry Scholarship, funded by the Canterbury Institute, becoming the first Baylor graduate to receive the organization's most generous scholarship available for study at the University of Oxford.
The Barry Scholarship is provided through the Canterbury Institute, which serves as the home of Barry Scholars while in Oxford and provides the resources, mentorship, administration and program of activities to foster the Scholarship’s reputation as a world-leading academic initiative.
Barry Scholars are selected for their dedication to the academic vocation and the pursuit of truth. The scholarship supports graduate study at the University of Oxford in any discipline, for any degree, allowing Levinson to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in Spanish literature.
“The scholarship will fund my studies for a D.Phil. in medieval and modern languages at the University of Oxford, where I will study religious themes in Baroque Spanish drama and visual art,” said Levinson, who won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in 2017, was a University Scholar in Baylor’s Honors College, graduated magna cum laude and was named a Gates Cambridge finalist this year.
Candidates must be nominated by one of the professors or directors of academic institutions who have volunteered to seek out candidates who would most excel through the Barry Scholarship. The nominees provide evidence of their academic accomplishments, outline their plans for research and demonstrate their interests in teaching to the academic committee. The committee then offers a “Barry” to those who best demonstrate their commitment to the ideals of the scholarship.
“My interest in Spanish literature began when I studied abroad in Madrid for a semester as an undergraduate at Baylor, and my passion only grew from there. I took a Cervantes course and a Spanish art history course while in Madrid,” Levinson said. “When I returned to Baylor, I was inspired to write my honors thesis on Don Quijote. After graduating, I completed a Fulbright ETA grant in Spain, where I continued to foster an interest in Spanish culture. Finally, my passion culminated in my masters studies this year at Oxford.”
Levinson chose Baylor for her undergraduate education because of the strength of the Honors College, particularly the Great Texts and University Scholars programs. She was drawn to the intellectual community at Baylor and genuine care the faculty displayed for their students’ intellectual growth and spiritual wellbeing.
Levinson credits Baylor faculty members Ralph Wood, Ph.D., University Professor of Theology and Literature; Barry Harvey, Ph.D., professor of theology; Lynne Hinojosa, Ph.D., associate professor of literature in the Honors Program; Eric Holleyman, Ph.D., senior lecturer in religion; and Wesley Null, Ph.D., vice provost for undergraduate education and institutional effectiveness, among many others, as being particularly influential to her success. She said her professors were always available for long conversations in their offices and cared about her academic and personal growth.
Levinson’s undergraduate experience at Baylor provided an academically rigorous environment in which she was able to build a scholarly foundation for the future as well as uncover her passion for learning and teaching.
“Baylor equipped me with a passion for learning, teaching me to embrace intellectual life as a means of deepening my faith and grounding it in reason,” Levinson said. “My time as an undergraduate at Baylor has enriched my life by encouraging me to ask meaningful questions and challenging me to succeed academically. It has also provided me with excellent opportunities for winning grants and scholarships and has always given me an avenue for exploring my interests, such as through its study abroad programs.”
The Barry Scholarship has provided Levinson with the resources to continue to invest in her education and pursue her passion, including full funding for tuition, a living stipend and, yearly research and travel allowances. After completing her doctorate, Levinson plans to continue to work in academia either in the U.S. or abroad, researching and teaching as a professor.
Baylor students who seek a rich undergraduate education are supported by Baylor’s Office of Engaged Learning, which partners with students, in collaboration with faculty and staff throughout the University, to help them maximize their scholarship beyond the classroom. Students are supported as they apply and compete for prestigious scholarships, fellowships, internships, and research experiences at the national and international level, including the Fulbright, Truman, Gates Cambridge, Boren and Rhodes, and for other notable awards, such as the Goldwater, Pickering, Critical Language Scholarship and National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU).
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 19,000 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 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.