Skip to main content

Congratulations to Cassandra Harper and Maria Kesic, winners of the 2020 Roderick Boyd Porter Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to John Carroll students who demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the Humanities. Josephine Schuman receives the Honorable Mention.

From your intriguing essays to your travel reflections, from your excellence in the classroom to your leadership in the Humanities, you model engagement that other students can aspire to. I want to thank you for all you do to make John Carroll a place where we encounter, reflect on, create, and celebrate the Humanities. We are enormously proud and grateful for your contributions to this university.

- Dr. Philip Metres, Chair of the Porter Scholarship Committee
Cassandra Harper, co-winner, 2020 Porter Scholarship

Cassandra Harper is a rising senior at JCU from Ashland, Ohio. She is studying English Literature and Spanish and minoring in Peace, Justice and Human Rights. Cassandra works on campus as a consultant in the Writing Center, MELT Mentor, Student Liaison at CSSA, and student worker in the Center for Global Education. She is actively involved in the Improv Club, Arrupe Scholars Program, and volunteers as a tutor at the local immigration service, Esperanza, Inc. After spending six months studying abroad in Murcia, Spain, Cassandra has decided to pursue volunteering opportunities teaching English through the Peace Corps after graduation. 

Coming up on four years now studying in the humanities department, I have gained the ability to communicate effectively and think critically. JCU offers courses that help students develop values like these which prepare them to be valuable candidates for countless jobs. But, even more than this, these classes teach students about the complexities of human experience. Certainly, JCU is developing skillful workers, but more importantly, the humanities department is fostering the formation of thoughtful, empathetic human beings who will be valuable contributors in our society.

- Cassandra Harper, Recipient of the 2020 Porter Scholarship in the Humanities
Maria Kesic, co-winner, 2020 Porter Scholarship

Maria Kesic is a rising senior from Hudson, Ohio studying Peace, Justice, & Human Rights and Data Science. She was able to spend the first part of her spring semester 2020 in Prague, Czech Republic, studying at Charles University. In her free time, she is a member of the Improv Club, Rogue Understudies, and loves running. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in data collection and analysis for non-profit organizations.

As a data scientist, I trust numbers, but like statistics out of context, we cannot understand the world without examining it through the lens of the humanities. We need the humanities because they seek to give us purpose. We need them because it’s important to ask questions that don’t have answers and to make peace with that ambiguity. We need them because they help us to become more dynamic, authentic, and empathetic people.

- Maria Kesic, Recipient of the 2020 Porter Scholarship in the Humanities
Josephine Schuman, honorable mention, 2020 Porter Scholarship

Josie Schuman is a rising senior from Bedford, Ohio studying Adolescent/Young Adolescent Education and English with a minor in Spanish. Josie cultivated her love for the Spanish language and culture by studying abroad in Tarragona, Spain. She works as a communications intern at the Ignatian Solidarity Network, a non-profit that promotes advocacy for various social justice issues. She is active in the Honors Program, writes for The Carroll News as the Managing Editor, and loves singing with The Sweet Carrollines women’s acapella group. After graduation, she plans on pursuing her dream as a high school English teacher. 

The humanities make the difference between human beings and human doings. We live in a fast-paced world that encourages us to do, do, do, but the humanities invite us to pause and reflect on our actions and how we want to contribute to society. For this reason, I believe the humanities can help people succeed in any endeavor. Skills that you can develop from studying the humanities, such as critical thinking or ethical decision making, are ones that we use every day. These skills also help to broaden our perspective of the world, which is exactly what we should be doing during our time in college.

- Josephine Schuman, Honorable Mention for the 2020 Porter Scholarship in the Humanities.

Rod Porter was a singular individual, well-schooled and well-read, liberally educated in the Jesuit tradition, a student of the Classics and of classical languages, a superior writer, and a talented editor. Born in Columbus, Ohio in 1947, he graduated from John Carroll University in 1969 with a B.A. and honors in classics. He died of cancer in 1993. The Friends of Rod Porter ’69 established this annual scholarship in his honor.