Deans nominate prefects, athletes for Duke, UNC, UVA scholarships

By Chloe Lister

Austin Lewis ’11 has been nominated by the school for the Morehead-Cain scholarship, while Christopher Holthouse’11 was nominated for the Jefferson Scholarship and Melanie Borinstein ’11, Catherine Wang ’11 and Tiana Woolridge ’11 received nominations for the Robertson scholarship. All three scholarships are merit-based and include at least tuition and enrichment opportunities.

These five students were selected by a board made up of deans and other members of the administration. Each dean presented students who they believed were eligible for each scholarship. These students were then narrowed down and voted upon in order to determine who would be nominated.

“Once we present where they are in terms of their curriculum and performance in that curriculum, their leadership, their integrity and their personal qualities, it usually becomes pretty clear which ones rise to the top,” Dean Sharon Cuseo said.

Morehead-Cain Scholarship

The Morehead-Cain Scholarship is given by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Applicants must demonstrate moral force of character, scholarship, physical vigor, and leadership.

Lewis is a Prefect and runs on the cross country and track teams.

“He just has a rigorous curriculum; he’s really challenged himself, yet he’s managed to be a leader in the community in a lot of different ways,” Cuseo said.

Lewis’s initial reaction to his nomination was surprise. Although he had not planned on applying to UNC, he now sees it as an option after being nominated for the Morehead-Cain scholarship.

“This opportunity comes very rarely and I might as well just see where this takes me,” Lewis said. 

Scholars are offered the opportunity to apply for Discovery Funds, $8,000 grant funds given over the course of four years to let students “delve deeper into personal or professional interests,” the scholarship’s website said.

Wang was nominated as the alternate for the Morehead-Cain scholarship.


Jefferson Scholarship


Cuseo described the Jefferson Scholarship awarded by the University of Virginia as “very similar to the Morehead scholarship.”

The idea of “nurturing future leaders is at the heart of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation’s mission,” its website said.

Cuseo said that “the fact that they separate out leadership and citizenship” was the reason they chose Holthouse as the ideal nominee, and she defined him as a “classic scholar” due to his interest in social sciences and philosophy. Holthouse is also a Head Prefect, and he plans to pursue the scholarship.

“I think one of the most exciting things about getting nominated was knowing that other people had recognized certain qualities or qualifications in me,” Holthouse said.

Robertson Scholarship

The Robertson Scholarship is available for students applying to both Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and it offers students the experience of both schools by requiring them to spend the second semester of their sophomore year at their sister school.

The criteria for the Robertson Scholarship emphasizes leadership potential, Cuseo said.

“We were proud of ourselves because we were able to find three people who are leaders in different ways,” Cuseo said.

Bornstein is a Head Prefect as well as a Peer Support leader. Cuseo described her as a “traditional leader.” She plans to pursue the scholarship.

“I think it’s very cool to be part of a special program at college that can enhance your experience even more,” Borinstein said.

Wang is a Community Council leader, a varsity swimmer, and Executive Editor of The Chronicle.

She will be applying for the scholarship while also pursuing admittance to the United States Naval Academy.

The advisory process offered to Robertson scholars attracted Wang to the scholarship.

Woolridge is part of the Student Athletic Advisory Council and Community Council and plays both volleyball and basketball.

“Whatever activity I’m involved in, I try to take over the active role in it and lead my classmates in every aspect that I can,” she said.

In addition to students nominated to the scholarship, applicants to both Duke and UNC Chapel Hill can fill out supplemental applications for the Robertson Scholars Program, and all applicants to both schools are considered.