On Jan. 20, Shaun Cason ’23, a senior within the Historical past division, was awarded this yr’s Sachs Scholarship to pursue a grasp’s diploma at Worcester Faculty at College of Oxford. Anna Allport ’23, an unbiased concentrator in efficiency research and interdisciplinary theater at Princeton, was additionally awarded the Sachs World Scholarship, which permits recipients to check at any college exterior of the U.S.
Cason will proceed learning the Byzantine Empire and, extra usually, the Center East through the medieval interval. A recipient of a Purple Coronary heart and army veteran, Cason is the primary switch pupil and veteran to have been awarded the Sachs Scholarship.
Cason spent 15 years in particular operations within the Marines. He transferred to Princeton as a sophomore figuring out he wished to pursue historical past. “Due to my time within the army, you notice how wealthy and various the world is,” Cason famous.
Cason, who was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, can be specializing in Southern Iraq for his thesis. “[It’s] attention-grabbing how they tie into one another,” he mentioned concerning his service and analysis. “I’ve been there. I’ve been to a number of the locations that I’m researching proper now. I’m seeing the way it was lots of of years earlier than I used to be there.”
Allport might be pursuing a Grasp of Tremendous Arts in Shakespearean literature, with analysis specializing in “combining Shakespeare’s dramatic literature with multimedia expertise instruments in Ok-12 schooling curricula,” she wrote in an electronic mail to The Each day Princetonian. After finishing her Masters in Tremendous Arts (MFA), she is eager about making a standardized Shakespeare schooling curriculum for Ok-12 public colleges.
The Sachs Scholarship, which Cason obtained, allows recipients to check for any diploma from the College of Oxford, guaranteeing a full scholarship for 2 years and an allowance for different bills. Worcester Faculty, a university inside Oxford, has been housing Sachs Students for the reason that institution of this system in 1970.
Oxford College has been the “golden commonplace” for turning into a Byzantinist or Medievalist, Cason instructed the ‘Prince’.
Whereas at Oxford, Cason mentioned that his research are going to be a “lot extra targeted,” citing that his subsequent 10 years of academia are going to be specializing in this area of interest, which he found throughout his undergraduate schooling at Princeton.
Along with historical past, Cason plans to proceed learning Greek and be taught Arabic.
“Studying Arabic is excessive on my priorities as a result of there’s a treasure-trove of supply work within the Arab world,” Cason mentioned in an interview with the ‘Prince.’
“I’m an enormous nerd, I like historical past: simply all of it excites me. If you happen to instructed me the historical past of rubbish cans, I’d sit right here and hear,” he mentioned.
Regardless of his curiosity in historical past, he by no means anticipated that he would turn out to be a medievalist. “I began trying to the east, and actually checked out Byzantium and the Center East and the Islamic world,” Cason mentioned.
“I didn’t know something, so it was all contemporary, shiny, and actually thrilling, and so I took an entire proper flip, went in head first,” Cason mentioned about his creating curiosity in medieval and Byzantine research. “Now we have this wonderful center ages custom right here [at Princeton] and simply entry to probably the most good minds within the discipline. You’ll be able to’t assist however get enthusiastic about it.”
Cason focuses on “slavery within the Center Ages and center Byzantine interval, which coincides with the golden age, the Abbasid caliphate.”
In response to Cason, medieval research within the Byzantine Empire are “missing educational work” proper now. He famous that, in contrast to with different durations and areas, historians in his discipline must look past written texts to artifacts and different sources. Due to this, Cason is pursuing the archeology certificates. “I actually like multidisciplinary approaches to analysis,” Cason mentioned.
Referencing the dearth of accessible sources, Cason mentioned that his research are “going to take numerous effort. You actually have to take a look at extra of a geographic examine, trying regionally and on the interactions [between cultures]. However that is the attention-grabbing factor about this space: you’ve got such a mixing of cultures and folks, languages, customs. I feel the Center East was a extremely thrilling place through the Center Ages,” Cason mentioned.
Cason, who describes himself as “not the standard recipient,” mentioned that receiving this scholarship was “large” for him, his household, and his group. Accordingly, he thanked a few of his professors: Professor Helmut Reimitz, Professor Teresa Shawcross, and Professor Jack Tannous.
“Their funding in me has actually solidified that I’m making the precise choice,” mentioned Cason. “Sooner or later, I want to be able to pay it ahead and to have the identical affect on college students’ lives and never lose sight of what is necessary in academia, which is the scholar,” he added.
Cason plans on pursuing his Ph.D. to turn out to be a professor who can mentor non-traditional college students and veterans. “That’s a long run purpose, to proceed to place myself able to advocate — to do good,” Cason mentioned. “I aspire to reside as much as this legacy that has been positioned earlier than me.”
Simone Kirkevold is a information contributor for the ‘Prince.’