UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 08 Summer 18 Library
Dan Addison
Creative Writing

Jack Chellman Awarded a Marshall Scholarship

From the time he first arrived on Grounds, Fourth-Year Jack Chellman has dedicated himself to helping communities find common ground. Following his graduation this spring, he will continue that work on an even larger scale when he travels to London as a recipient of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. Chellman, an Echols and Jefferson scholar and a double-major in English and Political and Social Thought, will pursue a master’s degree in Media, Power and Public Affairs from Royal Holloway, University of London, and a master’s degree in Ideology and Discourse Analysis from the University of Essex. Marshall Scholarships are largely funded by the British government, are awarded to American students studying in the United Kingdom, and cover university fees, cost-of-living expenses, annual book grants, thesis grants research, and daily travel grants, as well as fares to and from the United States. Chellman’s work in London––which will be largely focused on how communities can get along and talk to each other in more constructive ways––is not only timely when it comes to today’s political climate, but is also an extension of his life and work while on Grounds. He served as President of the Queer Student Union and worked closely on issues of minority advocacy in order to improve the lives of fellow students. He also worked to promote productive dialogue as President of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society. “Over the past four years,” he said, “I’ve always worked to apply my writing skills to issues like political pluralism and to finding ways that we can all get along better. What I found is that I can do that through journalism, which is kind of how I got here.” In a world of rapidly shrinking attention spans and where 140 characters can change a news cycle instantaneously, Chellman sees great value in long-form journalism as a way to point us toward common ground. “It’s a great tool for building empathy, he said. “What has always been so powerful to me about reading and writing is narrative. In long-form journalism, you bring narrative more closely into political issues. It helps you to understand that these are issues that affect human beings and it allows you to think about things in a deeper and more nuanced way.” Chellman credits the English department’s Area Program in Literary Prose, of which he’s a member, with helping him hone his skills and leading him toward the exciting opportunities that await him across the pond. “I am so grateful for the outstanding professors and advisors I have had here,” Chellman said, “people like Elizabeth Denton and Michael Levenson and Victor Luftig and so many others.” He is also extremely grateful to have been able to satisfy another artistic craving through his connection to the UVA Dance Program. “I started dancing in 10thgrade, and though I loved it, I didn’t have the years of experience that so many other dancers often do. Kim Brooks Mata, Dinah Gray, and Katie Schetlick really made dance accessible for me and were wonderful about tailoring classes to make sure that people of all levels could access the material.” Chellman has performed in four of the program’s dance concerts, in addition to taking a variety of classes, and he credits the program with nourishing his creative side and enriching his UVA experience. “It has been really nice to have another creative outlet, and I think it’s important to experience different ways of expressing yourself creatively. I’ve learned so much about improvisation and generating creative material through dance, and I know that’s been valuable for my writing.” 

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