Picayune teacher receives fellowship to study in Scotland

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Picayune Memorial High School History Teacher Allison Wheat was recently awarded a fellowship to study Celtic History and Literature at St. Andrews University in Scotland, a release from the fellowship committee states.

Wheat, who’s participated in several fellowship programs during her 23 years as an educator, said she applied for the program in November hoping to learn more about her family’s Scottish heritage.

Wheat will join 30 other Oxbridge Academic fellowship students from around the world on July 9 for the weeklong seminar, she said.

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Wheat said she’s applied for the program in the past, but was not accept. So she was shocked when she received her acceptance letter in January.

The Oxbridge program was founded over 20 years ago by James Basker as a way to bring teachers and leading scholars together in historic and cultural settings, the release states.

The $2,000 fellowship will cover all of Wheat’s lodging, course costs and other expenses, she said.

The fellowship even allows her mother to accompany her on the trip, so Wheat said they will take advantage of the opportunity to explore their ancestral home together.

The course consists of morning classroom studies followed by afternoon trips around the area, including Edinburg and the university’s gold course to learn the history of golf, Wheat said.

The lead professor will be Dr. Katie Garner, whose expertise is the influence of the Arthurian legend on women’s writing, Wheat said.

The aim of each seminar is to present teachers with new ways to instill a love of history and culture in their classrooms, according to the release.

Bringing back what she’s learned, as well as photos, to share with her students is her primary goal, she said.

She said she hopes it will help spur her students’ interest in their own family lineage, a project she guides them through every year.


About Julia Arenstam

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