Researching Beyond the Library The best place to research your thesis? Some would say the library, but for Jacqueline Moruzzi ’18 that place is the Cambridge University’s Medieval Studies Summer Program.
“I am continually impressed by my peers at Washington and Lee. Experiences like this are important for W&L students as they afford them the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership abilities and academic excellence in a more global learning environment.”
Majors: English, Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Hometown: Yardley, PA
Q. Tell us a little bit about your summer opportunity.
This summer, I attended Cambridge University’s Medieval Studies Summer Program, which served as a wonderful research opportunity for my Medieval and Renaissance Studies thesis. For two weeks, I attended both morning and evening lectures in addition to my four classes, and took advantage of the English faculty library. I felt so lucky to meet fellow students from around the world and have the opportunity to learn from some of today’s greatest medieval historians.
Q. What did you like most about the location?
I’m not sure there is one aspect of Cambridge, England, that I could identify as my favorite. It is a fascinating town that is rich in history and so aesthetically pleasing: The river Cam runs through the colleges, which are architecturally stunning. I loved being surrounded by so many historical buildings — churches that have been in use for over a thousand years, ruins, colleges built by famous kings and queens… it’s all quite spectacular.
Q. What does an average day for you look like?
After breakfast at my host college, Selwyn, I attended the morning lecture, followed by my first class. I spent my first break in the library doing research, then headed to my second class. The afternoon was free until dinner, a sit-down meal served in the college dining hall, which afforded a great opportunity to meet other attendees. Dinner was followed by the evening lecture.
Q. What was the most rewarding and fulfilling part of your experience?
I absolutely loved having the opportunity to have classes and lectures with such respected, intelligent and fascinating historians. Both their expertise and passion for the material were evident in each session/class.
Q. What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Balancing the preparatory reading with my busy schedule before the program started was a challenge. Luckily, my internship required an hour train ride so I had two hours per day to work on it!
Q. Who served as a mentor to you this summer, and what did they teach you?
My parents have been incredibly wonderful; not only did they encourage me when I was first pursuing the opportunity but also when I was trying to balance the preparatory work, my internship, and a part-time job.
Q. What have you learned at W&L that helped you in this endeavor, and what will you bring back to your life on campus?
I am hopeful that my experience has empowered me with information that will allow me to contribute thoughtfully to class discussion.
Q. Has this experience impacted your studies or future plans in any way?
This program has provided me with invaluable information for my thesis and only increased my interest in the subjects I studied while in Cambridge, such as the Black Death.
Q. Why is this kind of experience important to W&L students?
I am continually impressed by my peers at Washington and Lee. Experiences like this are important for W&L students as they afford them the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership abilities and academic excellence in a more global learning environment.
Q. Describe your summer adventure in one word: