by Sara Patton
This summer, an English major from the Robert E. Cook Honors College at IUP is heading to Cambridge to participate in the Pembroke-King’s Programme. Several weeks ago, Elizabeth Elmore, a sophomore at IUP, was accepted to the program and offered a tuition scholarship for the Creative Writing and History classes she’ll be taking there.
Elizabeth is from Madison, Ohio. Some of her college accomplishments include positions as secretary of the English Club and president of the Book Club and two Alternative Spring Break trips to Texas, where she worked at animal sanctuaries. She plans to go to graduate school in the future and study either English or creative writing. “I came to the Honors College because of the reasonable cost,” Elizabeth said, “which hopefully leaves me with money to go abroad.” And this summer she has her first opportunity!
“It's an eight-week program jointly offered by the Pembroke and King's Colleges at Cambridge in England,” Elizabeth explained. “I was actually looking into applying for the Cambridge International Summer Schools, and I told my mom to Google it, and she found this program instead. I chose to apply for it because it was of a longer duration and lower cost than the usual Cambridge Summer Schools. At the time, it seemed like a longshot for me to be accepted. I unfortunately did not get a full scholarship—only a tuition one—but it’s still awesome.”
The Cook Honors College (CHC) encourages students to take part in study abroad programs, internships, and any other special skill-building and eye-opening opportunities available to college students. This particular Honors College characteristic continues to thrive. When asked how the CHC had helped her with the application process, Elizabeth said, “My main source of help was Dr. Goebel, who was really excited about the program. She helped me edit the personal statement that I won the scholarship with.”
Elizabeth also discussed her English class experiences at IUP and how those classes have helped her prepare for the program this summer. “I’ve taken Creative Writing and Creative Nonfiction,” she explained, “and I think my background in those classes will help me with the very intensive creative writing classes I'll be taking at Cambridge: Novel Writing and Screen Adaptation.”
Opportunities like this are crucial for becoming well-educated and prepared for the world outside the student realm. Experiences that differ from those had in the typical classroom environment are not only helpful in providing valuable job and people skills, but allow for networking opportunities as well. Elizabeth recognizes the useful characteristics of such experiences, saying, “I definitely think that taking classes and earning credits at Cambridge will make me more marketable when applying for internships, graduate school, and jobs. I also may consider going to England for graduate school, and this program will give me a taste of whether or not that would be the right decision for me.”
The Cook Honors College is designed to help prepare students for amazing experiences such as the program Elizabeth will be participating in this summer. Graduates from the Honors College are well-equipped to compete with graduates from better-known schools such as Yale or Harvard—and this process starts early! “Most of the people who typically attend [the Pembroke-King’s Programme] are from Ivy League schools and other prestigious universities like Berkeley,” Elizabeth said, “so it’s probably awesome for the Honors College that I will be a part of that demographic.”
Elizabeth is looking forward to the program this summer but hasn’t lost focus on the steps that it will take to get there. “[I’m] definitely excited,” she said. “I've never been abroad, so it'll be amazing to experience another culture while still having the comfort of a shared language. I'm especially excited for a course I'm planning on taking called Novel Writing. But right now it’s all about finding scholarships to further finance everything.”
This summer, Elizabeth Elmore has the opportunity to take part in an experience that will allow her to encounter another culture and explore possibilities beyond anything she knows right now. We congratulate her and wish her well on her journey!