Marlboro College

NewsPress Release: 3/12/02 Marlboro Senior is Accepted to Ph.D. Program at Chicago's Committeefor Social Thought

MARLBORO, VT - Marlboro College senior Skye Allen of Franconia, New Hampshire, has been accepted into the University of Chicago's Ph.D. program with the Committee for Social Thought.

In September 2002, Allen will begin her studies on a fellowship grant with the Committee, a self-designed, interdisciplinary Ph.D. program encompassing the fields of literature, philosophy, theology, history, and social theory. Visiting and permanent members of the Committee have included Hannah Arendt, T.S. Eliot, Mircea Eliade, Paul Ricoeur, Allan Bloom, and Saul Bellow. Current well-known Committee members include novelist J.M. Coetzee, philosopher Robert Pippin, and Pulitzer prize-winning poet Mark Strand.

The Committee's premise is that "the serious study of any academic topic, or of any philosophical or literary work, is best prepared for by a wide and deep acquaintance with the fundamental issues presupposed in all such studies."

The program seems to be a perfect fit for Allen, whose Plan of Concentration at Marlboro is focused on literature yet incorporates religion, philosophy, cultural history, and foreign languages. Last summer she studied in Russia on a Marlboro summer research grant working on her Plan -- an exploration of the meaning and morality that influenced the works of Dostoevsky, Camus, and philosopher Richard Rorty.

The Plan of Concentration is the cornerstone of Marlboro's academic program. It is an in-depth, self-designed exploration of a field or fields of each student's choosing. The Plan culminates in a major independent project involving research, one-to-one study with faculty in tutorials and a three-hour oral examination with Marlboro faculty and an outside examiner who is an expert in the student's field.

The Plan process, Allen says, has increased her confidence intellectually by giving her the opportunity to define a coherent set of questions, synthesize seemingly disparate concepts, and sustain a subtle and complicated argument throughout a lengthy research project.

"I'm still pretty much in shock," says Allen about her acceptance into the Committee. "But mostly I'm just overwhelmingly grateful to everyone at Marlboro who supported and inspired me for the last three-and-a-half years."

Founded in 1946, Marlboro College offers undergraduate education in the liberal arts and, since 1997, graduate study focused in Internet technologies. Its 300 undergraduate students enjoy a 7:1 student-faculty ratio, a voice in governing the community, and individualized courses of study on a 350-acre campus in the hills of southern Vermont.

For more information, call (802) 257-4333 or visit the college online at

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