May 2, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 16

2004 Alumnus Earns Mellon Fellowship

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

Meghan Hammond '04, of St. Paul, Minn., has won a coveted Mellon Fellowship for her doctoral studies in English literature at New York University.

Her scholarship will focus on the novel, from the Victorian through the contemporary.

"There are few thrills like reading a novel that inspires an urgent question," Hammond says. "Right now, the questions that are most pressing and interesting for me involve the nature of literature itself. Why do we read and write? What drives one to relate a personal history, to record one's own truth for posterity? How does the novel create our experience with a fictional character's reality?"

An English and Hispanic Studies major at BC, she credits the academic mentoring she received as an undergraduate from Asst. Prof. Kevin Ohi and Prof. Frances Restuccia in English and Adj. Asst. Prof. Chris Wood in Spanish Language and Literature.

"Prof. Wood encouraged me to apply for a Boston College Advanced Study Grant for the summer of 2002," she said. "The research I did that summer on English- and Spanish-language metafictional texts eventually became the foundation of my senior thesis.

"Prof. Ohi directed my thesis and Prof. Restuccia served as the second reader. Both are incredibly attentive to their students' writing, which is what one needs from thesis readers. They both set the bar very high, especially where writing is concerned.

"Such rigor is necessary in an English Department. Knowing that I was constantly challenged to do better leaves me satisfied with my decision to study literature at BC."

The Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship is awarded by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation to exceptionally promising students preparing for scholarly careers in the humanities.

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