Sean Miller never knew Donna Winslow, but one thing’s for sure: he’ll never forget her.
In summer 2015, Sean Miller had field research to do in Brooklyn for his master’s in anthropology major paper.
He needed to stay there 12 weeks. If he used all of his savings, he thought he might have the funds to stay six.
That’s when he received the Donna Winslow Memorial Graduate Scholarship in Anthropology.
“You have no idea how this helped me at this specific time,” says Miller. “I was so thankful. All the interviews I did, all the events I went to, everything I experienced while I was there is 90% of my paper.”
It was the first scholarship Miller had received. He had always had to work during his studies — often full time — to pay his tuition fees and cover his needs.
Donna Winslow, a former Department of Anthropology professor, wanted the scholarships she established through a generous bequest to go to the most financially disadvantaged and academically deserving students. But she also gave the first recipient of her scholarship something very precious: a book from her personal collection, full of her handwritten notes.
Miller was very touched by this exceptional gesture, which gave him a window into the personality and mindset of his benefactor.
“You get to see her thought process,” says Miller. “I wished I was around when she was teaching at the department. The book is going to be a part of my personal collection for the rest of my life. It will always make me remember that her generosity helped me achieve what I needed to do.”
Heavily involved in social and environmental issues, Miller is still deciding between an academic career and a job with an NGO. One thing’s certain: he intends to start a PhD in 2017. But whatever he chooses, he knows that the spirit of the great lady, who who had a striking influence on his career, will always be with him.
Without the Donna Winslow scholarship, Sean Miller would have had a hard time doing all the field research necessary for his master’s in anthropology. Miller is seated on a bench on the Tabaret lawn dedicated to his benefactor.
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