Written by Dwight Bachman
Campo Scholarship winner Rebecca Holdridge with Kenneth McNeil, chairperson of the English Department
Willimantic, Conn: -- Rebecca Holdridge '13, a senior from Groton majoring in English at Eastern Connecticut State University, has been named the recipient of the University's Constance Campo Scholarship. Holdridge was presented the award on Dec. 5 during the English Department's "English Night."
Holdridge maintains a GPA of 3.98 and is vice president of the Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society, and also serves as secretary of Eastern's Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society.
The Constance Campo Scholarship was established in memory of Constance Campo, a longtime member of the English Department staff. The scholarship is presented to a non-traditional student who has demonstrated excellence in his or her studies, and is awarded to someone who has shown sensitivity to gender and diversity issues, as did Campo.
Holdridge is a teaching assistant to English Professor Reginald Flood in his African American Literature class, and is enrolled in the Immigrant American Literature class for her senior seminar. During the spring 2012 semester, she interned with English Professor Jian-Zhong Lin, working on "The Connecticut Review," a literary journal published by the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.
"Rebecca Holdridge has excelled both in the classroom and in the university community," said Flood. "Besides doing outstanding academic work that cemented her reputation as an outstanding writer, Rebecca was always generous with her classmates, making her one of those rare students that helps a professor build a sense of community in the classroom. Perhaps the clearest evidence of the gifts she brings to the classroom is the fact she has twice been asked to be an intern in different capacities for the English Department."
Lin agreed. "Rebecca Holdridge has demonstrated intellectual curiosity, academic preparedness and A strong work ethic as a student in the three classes I teach and as an intern at Connecticut Review. She participated in a study abroad program in London in fall 2011, and is serving as a public relations writer in Eastern's Office of University Relations, which demonstrates her commitment to the study of English and her ability to put classroom learning to real-world practice. Her GPA of 3.98 is a testimonial to her excellence. Connie Campo would have been proud of Rebecca."
Holdridge studied at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) in Preston, Lancashire, England, a small town in the Northern England. "I wanted to study abroad in England, because as an English major, I wanted to see the culture that is behind so many classic pieces of literature. I wanted to experience life in a different part of the world, and I wanted to travel."
Holdridge studied with several professors while in England, but considered Professor Robin Purves the most influential. All English majors were required to take a theory class, which Purves taught, and it was deemed the most intense but useful class. "He really pushed us to dig deeper into everything we read, from classic novels, to modern literature, to poetry. In England, they take their final exams after their Christmas break, and I spent weeks preparing for his final. In the end, it was the most difficult class I have taken as an English major, but also the most rewarding."
Outside of class, Holdridge had an wonderful time traveling and becoming a close friend with Anna, a German girl also studying abroad. "It was amazing that two students from two very different countries could share so many interests. My most memorable times with Anna were exploring England and other countries. Together, we went to Dublin, Ireland; Rome, Italy; and Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland. We just pointed our finger at a map of England and picked random towns to travel to for the day. We ended up in Liverpool, Manchester and Bolton just to name a few towns. In Manchester, we even saw a Manchester United soccer match."
Holdridge also traveled a great deal on her own, staying in Iceland for a few days on her way to England; with a French family in Paris; and in London for a weekend. She also visited Stonehenge. "Words cannot describe how amazing this experience was. I wish all students were able to study abroad because living in a country for a few months is completely different than staying in a hotel for a week or two. I was able to experience the culture firsthand, and made friends from many different countries."