175th Celebration

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campus news

Colby-Sawyer Senior Sarah Howard Earns Alpha Chi Award for Graduate Studies in History

NEW LONDON, N.H., March 30, 2007 – Sarah Howard, a senior History, Society and Culture major in the secondary education program at Colby-Sawyer College, has received a $2,500 H.Y. Benedict fellowship award from the Alpha Chi Society for her graduate study. Howard, a resident of Hamilton, Mass., has been accepted at Rutgers University, where she will begin a master's degree program in U.S. history this fall.

The award, named for Alpha Chi's first president, Dr. Harry Benedict, is presented to seniors with outstanding academic records. Alpha Chi is a general honor society whose members include students in the top 10 percent of their college or university's junior and senior classes.

Howard has been an engaged and high-achieving student leader during her college career at Colby-Sawyer. A member of the Wesson Honors Society, she has served as a teaching assistant for several classes in the History, Society and Culture (HSC) Program and as an academic tutor at the college's Academic Resource Center. Howard was also one of two Colby-Sawyer students to represent the college at an international summit at Cornell University in September 2006 on “Securing the Future: Oil Dependence and What You Can Do About It.”

A recipient of the college's 2006 Outstand Tutor Award and Scholarship, Howard was recently nominated by the faculty to become a junior fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. She is also an active member of the college's HSC Majors' Club and its chapter of the Alpha Chi Society.

Earlier in March, Howard traveled to Alpha Chi's national conference in San Antonio, Tex., where she presented her research on Mexico's political cartoons and art. Her interest in the subject arose through a course she took on modern Mexico and her independent study into the politics of the Mexican Revolution.

“I've found that the Mexican Revolution is alive in the political cartoons and art of today and was even represented in the 2006 presidential elections in Mexico,” she says. Revolutionary folk heroes such as Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata have become indigenous symbols in Mexican culture and often appear in its art and political cartoons. “It's a positive sign that Mexicans embrace their history, and it certainly makes the cartoons and art more colorful,” Howard maintains.

Professor Randy Hanson, who coordinates the HSC program and serves as her advisor, describes Howard as a committed and influential student leader, a much sought after academic tutor and the best student he's encountered in 15 years of undergraduate teaching.

“One of Sarah's most outstanding qualities is a powerful and wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, always looking for connections among the ideas she encounters in her various classes and research projects,” Professor Hanson says. “Over her four years at Colby-Sawyer, she has constantly modeled for her fellow students the need to relate what they are learning in the classroom to the world around them, and to make connections between past events and issues and contemporary ones. I have no doubt Sarah will succeed in graduate school, and later as a professor and research scholar.“

Howard is enthusiastic about graduate school but not quite prepared to depart from her home for the last four years. “I've really enjoyed Colby-Sawyer; it was the best place for me to learn and become prepared for graduate school,” she says, “and I'm not ready to leave just yet.”


Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Our students learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with pre-professional experience.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000