Andrew Pope, a junior at the University of Rochester, was recently named a 2010 Beinecke Scholar. The scholarship provides students with funding for the pursuit of advanced degrees in the arts, humanities, or social sciences and is given by the Sperry and Hutchinson Company. Pope is one of just 20 recipients that are chosen from a national pool of applicants; a select group of institutions are invited to nominate only one junior for the scholarship each year.
Pope, a resident of Watertown, N.Y., is a double major in African and African American Studies and history. The fifth Beinecke Scholar from Rochester, he is the first student to receive this award since 2004. According to the program's Web site, Beinecke Scholars have "demonstrated superior standards of intellectual ability, scholastic achievement and personal promise...and have a documented history of receiving need-based financial aid during his or her undergraduate career." The scholarship, which will provide $34,000 in funding over five years, will help offset the cost of Pope's work toward a doctoral degree in history.
"The Beinecke Scholarship will help me achieve my goal of completing doctoral research in African American history. I am particularly interested in examining ways historians are able to connect their research to the lived experiences of people today," said Pope. "This scholarship will give me the opportunity to build upon my research as an undergraduate at the University of Rochester in a meaningful way."
Pope's interest in history began while studying at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, under the tutelage of Dr. Ingrid Overacker, an alumna of Rochester's history department. Pope transferred from Jefferson to Rochester, and has since been the recipient of a Wilder Trustee Scholarship and a Continuing Student Scholarship.
During his career at Rochester, Pope has maintained a 3.98 grade point average while pursuing two research projects under the guidance of former Rochester president Thomas H. Jackson. The first explored the history of bankruptcy law and its implications on Chrysler Corporation's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. He recently presented that research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of Montana.
Pope has also conducted an in-depth study of the Confederate judicial system, looking specifically at the role the Attorney's General played in the absence of a Supreme Court. This topic will serve as one of Pope's senior honor theses (he plans to complete projects in both majors), and he intends to conduct further research by examining archival materials in both Athens, Georgia and Washington, D.C.
In addition to his studies, Pope served as an intern at the Legal Aid Society of Rochester during the 2008-2009 academic year and during the summer through the University's Rochester Urban Fellowship Program. Pope was offered full-time employment at the Legal Aid Society after the completion of his internship and currently works as a Housing Coordinator for the nonprofit. In his role, Pope helps clients purchase homes through the Home Ownership Initiative and advocates for those facing bankruptcy or eviction.
The Beinecke Scholarship was created in honor of Edwin, Frederick, and Walter Beinecke, who all served in leadership capacities at the Sperry and Hutchinson Company. More than 450 students have been chosen for the scholarship since its inception in 1971.