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Beth Kume-Holland Receives Kennedy Scholarship for Harvard University

25th May 2018

We are delighted to report that Pembroke alumna Beth Kume-Holland (History, 2013) has been awarded The Kennedy Scholarship, which funds postgraduate study at Harvard University or Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  This is a very competitive award, for which Beth underwent an extensive national selection process before being offered a place at Harvard University.

According to its website, the scholarship is more than just an academic award; ‘originality of mind, commitment to public service, potential to make a mark in public life and overcome adversity’ are valued as well as an individual’s ‘intellectual attainment’. It is also explicitly aimed at forging and strengthening transatlantic ties; former Kennedy Scholars include David Miliband, Ed Balls and Mervyn King. 

After achieving First Class Honours in History at Pembroke, Beth spent a year employed as a predoctoral research fellow at the History Faculty in Oxford, working on a research project looking at race, religion and resistance in the US. She told us, ‘I hope to go on to write and produce documentary films and since leaving the research position, I have worked on research in the private sector and gained some experience of the film world through working on a new Netflix original.’

We caught up with Beth to hear more about what she’ll be working on at Harvard:

‘Whilst at Harvard, I will be a ‘special student’ (which is a form of post-graduate non-degree study where you can pick courses from different departments for your own independent purpose) focusing my research on issues surrounding the portrayal of race and gender in the media across time, especially looking into the portrayal of African American women in social justice movements and how their contribution has been neglected. This work will hopefully be alongside involvement in a Social Engagement Initiative as well as filmmaking courses within the Department of Visual studies.’