Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Austin Hughes portrait
Austin Hughes

University of Iowa junior Austin Hughes is one of 18 undergraduates in the nation to receive the prestigious Beinecke Scholarship in 2018. The Beinecke Scholarship program is a highly selective fellowship created to offer young scholars of exceptional promise substantial financial support to pursue advanced degrees in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Hughes, a member of the University of Iowa Honors program and student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is pursuing majors in English and creative writingtheatre arts, and Japanese language and literature

"Austin receiving this award shows that University of Iowa students can compete with students anywhere. The other 17 winners come mostly from places such as Stanford, Yale, and Princeton. It also reminds me how lucky I am to work with such a creative and talented group of young people," says Kelly Thornburg, Honors Program director of scholar development.

Hughes, a native of Arlington, Texas, says he knew when he submitted his scholarship application that he would be among a field of highly-qualified candidates.

"Everyone asks themselves, 'Can I do this?' or, 'Am I good enough?' and I'm certainly not immune to that self doubt, especially as an aspiring poet and scholar," Hughes says. "However, a big part of my life and achievements grew from those questions. So, instead of doing nothing for fear of everything that could go wrong, I choose to act and to give myself up to the possibility of growth."   

Beinecke scholars each receive up to $4,000 for undergraduate study and $30,000 to support graduate work. Since 1975, the Beinecke Scholarship Program has selected more than 628 college juniors from more than 110 undergraduate institutions for support during graduate study.  

Austin is the second Beinecke recipient from the UI. In 2013, Derek Heckman, a student in Creative Writing Track within the Department of English, received the award.