Tue, 04/26/2016

Haley Schilling is the first University of Massachusetts student to be awarded a prestigious Beinecke Scholarship. The scholarship supports highly motivated college juniors pursuing graduate study in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Schilling is a junior philosophy and mathematics major and member of the Commonwealth Honors College.

The scholarship was established in 1971 by the Board of Directors of The Sperry and Hutchinson Company to honor Edwin, Frederick, and Walter Beinecke. Since 1975, the program has selected more than 570 college juniors from more than 100 undergraduate institutions for support during graduate study at any accredited university.

Each scholar receives $4,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school. There are no geographic restrictions on the use of the scholarship, and recipients are allowed to supplement the award with other scholarships, assistantships and research grants. Scholars are encouraged to begin graduate study as soon as possible following graduation from college, and must utilize all of the funding within five years of completion of undergraduate studies.

Schilling said that, “Within philosophy, my interests tend to fall under philosophy of science, epistemology (knowledge and justified belief), and logic. I'm currently compelled by questions that have direct applications to the sciences: what statistical methods should we use? when can we say we've found a causal link? should we prefer simple scientific theories?”

In deciding to apply for Beinecke Scholarship, Schilling received support from the Office of National Scholarship Advisement, directed by Professor Susan Whitbourne. “I... received overwhelming encouragement from Professor Susan Whitbourne, my professors (especially those who wrote letters), and my family, which I am so grateful for,” she added. 

Schilling plans to apply to graduate programs in philosophy in the fall with the goal to teach as a professor.

“This scholarship will provide substantial financial support for graduate school. It's an incredible honor. I was ecstatic when I received the notification and am still pinching myself a little bit,” she said.

According to Whitbourne, Schilling’s application was remarkable for its scope and sophistication. “Haley’s potential to make significant contributions to the philosophy of science is truly laudatory. I am confident she will become a major figure in this important area, benefiting not only scholars in the field but also researchers pursuing the genetic causes of disease,” Whitbourne said.

UMass philosophy professors Louise Antony, Chris Meacham and Kevin Klement supported her application with recommendations.