A history major was UMM's first Killam Scholar
Posted by Rebecca Webb from a previous press release on Friday, Sep. 18, 2009
John Hanson, a double major in history and philosophy, was the first UMM student to receive a scholarship from the Killam Fellowships Program, which funds a semester of study in another country. The scholarships are nationally competitive and exceptional students are chosen based on their prospects of furthering research and cultural growth in the host country.
Paula O'Loughlin, professor of political science and director of the campus’ Academic Center for Enrichment, which oversees students’ application to programs and national honors such as the one Hanson received, was delighted with the award. “John has been an exceptional student and scholar throughout his time at UMM," she said at the time, describing him as "well deserving" and "a testimony to the high quality of our students overall and to the continuing value of the liberal arts in today's world.”
Hanson was chosen because of his solid collegiate performance as well as his extensive involvement in extracurricular activities. His UMM experience included serving as president of the Morris Philosophy Club, head copy editor of the student newspaper— University Register—and working as a teaching assistant, to name a few. He credited his ample involvement in extracurricular activities to the fertile participatory environment provided by the UMM community.
At the time of the award, Hanson planned to use his scholarship to attend the University of Toronto where he envisioned studying continental and medieval philosophy with the intent of applying his research to current dilemmas facing by the world today. He explained his purpose this way: “We have all these ways of thinking about our social and cultural context that come out of the transition to modernity and we tend to just fall back on those forms when we encounter social or political conflicts. I’m hoping to study other ways in which those issues can be and have been thought about, both historically and in more contemporary discussions. Toronto is a great place to do that.”