Successor to Herman B Wells, Elvis Jacob Stahr Jr. was inaugurated as president of Indiana University on November 19, 1962. Dr. Stahr arrived at IU with an already extensive resume, having been a Rhodes Scholar, a practicing attorney, provost of the University of Kentucky and University of Pittsburgh, president of West Virginia University, and Secretary of the Army under John F. Kennedy. These prestigious awards were established in his namesake to honor five IU seniors that have excelled academically while serving as active campus and community leaders.
For 2021, we would like to honor Margaret with the Elvis J. Stahr Award to honor her achievements and service to the IU community.
Margaret’s Academic Achievements
Margaret is earning a Bachelor of Arts in English (with academic honors) and Cognitive Science with a minor in Spanish from the College of Arts and Sciences. Her outstanding academic accomplishments include being selected as a Herman B Wells scholar, a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, a recipient of the Bertha F. Eikenberry Scholarship for excellence in writing, and a recipient of the Barbara Markman Scholarship for outstanding work in IU’s English department. She has also received the IU Luis Dávila Latino Studies Essay Award for best undergraduate student essay in Latino literature, arts and culture and the Keisler Undergraduate Poetry Award for her original work “Space Poem.” Under the supervision of Professor Nikki Skillman, Margaret completed an English honors thesis entitled “The New New York School?: Towards a Taxonomy of Millennial Surrealism in Contemporary Minority Poetry.”
Margaret was a visiting student at the University of Oxford during the 2019-2020 academic year where she studied modernist, postcolonial, Victorian, and Shakespearean literature and received top marks in all her courses. Margaret’s academic work has been published in IU’s Journal of Undergraduate Research and Soupbone, an internet-based humanities collective. This summer, she will serve as an undergraduate research fellow for the IU Platform Arts & Humanities Laboratory, pursuing an independent project on the lyric tendencies, personas, and marketing of young female indie rock artists to be presented at the IU Global Popular Music Symposium in Fall 2021.
In Fall 2021, Margaret will be attending graduate school at the University of Oxford, where she will be completing a master’s degree in world literature.
Margaret’s Campus and Community Involvement
On campus, Margaret has served on the Board of Aeons, completing in-depth research on campus-wide issues that will culminate in a written report and presentation delivered to the Indiana University President. As a member of the Student Advisory Board for the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Margaret focused on finding innovative ways to support IU students who face challenges around food insecurity. She helped lead a campaign to encourage IU students to donate their extra meal points to IU’s annual food drive with the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, garnering 500 more pounds of food donations than in previous years.
Margaret also served as the Literary Arts Coordinator for Collins Living Learning Center, where she hosted open mic nights, writing contests and workshops to help engage the residents in the literary arts. In this role, she launched and authored a weekly column for the Collins newspaper that was selected to be published in The Literary Project, a compilation of IU student writing from 1872 to the present.
Margaret’s gratitude goes out to the faculty, staff and communities at IU that have made the Bloomington campus into a home. When asked to write an acknowledgement to those who have impacted her time here at IU, she said:
I’d like to thank Professor Deborah Cohn, Professor Christoph Irmscher, and Professor Nikki Skillman – all of whom have helped me understand what a truly meaningful academic career can look like. I’m eternally grateful for my family for making this education possible, and to the families I’ve found on campus— the Wells Scholars program and Collins LLC specifically — for providing a home and community during my time at IU. ”