Classics student wins Gates Scholarship to study at Cambridge


Ana Guay, an honors major in classical languages and literature with a minor in translation studies, has been awarded a 2015 Gates Scholarship to the University of Cambridge.

Sara Ann Knutson, an honors history major in the Residential College with minors in Scandinavian studies and medieval and early modern studies, was named an alternate for the scholarship.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship provides full funding for graduate programs at the University of Cambridge. Forty scholars from the U.S. will join 55 scholars from other parts of the world to form a diverse and interdisciplinary cohort of leaders in their respective fields pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees. 

Ana Guay

Guay, of Brooklyn, New York, is writing her honors thesis on Homer’s Catalogue of Ships in the “Iliad.” She serves as a peer tutor for the Sweetland Center for Writing and currently teaches a mini-course for first-year students in the Honors Program on paratexts and marginalia in ancient and modern texts.

Guay will start the Master of Philosophy in classics at Cambridge in the fall before applying to British and American Ph.D. programs.

“Joining the Gates Cambridge Scholars is an honor of ‘epic’ proportions,” says Guay. “It’s an exciting confirmation that classics have a place in the modern world. I am so thankful for the support of my department and especially my thesis adviser, Professor Richard Janko.”

“From the moment that Ana began her studies in Classics it was clear that she was an outstanding student,” writes Sara Forsdyke, professor of Greek and Latin, and history, and chair of the Department of Classical Studies.

“Since then, the faculty in the department have been watching her progress through our program with ever-increasing admiration for her translation skills and interpretative abilities.”

Guay is the seventh winner of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship from U-M and the second from the classics department. Johanna Hanink, a 2006 Gates Scholar, is now an assistant professor of classics at Brown University having completed her Ph.D. at Queen’s College, Cambridge.

Sara Ann Knutson

Knutson, of Grand Rapids, has been accepted into the Master of Philosophy in archaeology at Cambridge.  She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in history specializing on medieval Europe.

 “My experiences over these past four years in the Residential College and Honors Program inspired me to not just accept learning opportunities, but to create an education for myself. I am very grateful and honored to have represented U-M as a Gates Cambridge finalist and to have received such wide support from my faculty, advisers and peers,” she writes.

“Competition for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship is intense,” says Andrew D. Martin, dean of LSA. Of the 755 initial U.S. applicants for the scholarship, 90 finalists were invited to interview in Washington, D.C., and 40 were selected.

“It’s an honor to have one LSA student named a winner of and another an alternate for such a prestigious intellectual award. The qualities that the Gates Cambridge Trust prizes adhere perfectly with priorities of the College of LSA and the university as a whole: academic excellence, leadership, and a dedication to improving the lives of others.”


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