Mentor: Dr. Howard Louthan
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"I applied to the University Scholars Program because Professor Louthan told me it would be a good way to broaden my academic horizons and challenge myself. I have always enjoyed writing essays, and at its core the USP program is focused on writing a research essay. My goals for this year are to research and develop my USP project, and then to expand that project into a thesis for the History Honors Program."
English and Medieval literature
Classical Latin literature and history
National Merit Scholarship: 2009
Hobbies and Interests
- Chess/strategic board games
- Starcraft II
Tolkien's Time: The Lord of the Rings and Epic English Poetry
My project explores the influence on and similarities between the literature of the great epic poets of medieval English--the Beowulf and Gawain poets, for example--on the writing and formation of the Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien. I will also explore factors that influenced both his work and the work of medieval poets, such as the Catholic faith they shared and the classical literature to which their work owed a great debt. I hope to show that Tolkien's work is not only a seminal piece of 20th Century literature, but also a descendant in a long line of heroic stories whose rich history stretches back thousands of years.