Haley Schilling is First UMass Amherst Student to Receive Prestigious Beinecke Scholarship

Haley Schilling
Haley Schilling

AMHERST, Mass. – Haley Schilling, a junior philosophy and mathematics major and member of Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been awarded a Beinecke Scholarship.

The Fitchburg resident is the first UMass Amherst student to receive the nationally competitive award given to highly motivated college juniors to support graduate study in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Each Beinecke scholar receives $4,000 immediately and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school.

One of 20 students named to receive the award this year, Schilling plans to apply to graduate programs in philosophy and eventually become a professor. “Within philosophy, my interests tend to fall under philosophy of science, epistemology and logic,” she says. “I’m currently compelled by questions that have direct applications to the sciences: what statistical methods should we use? When can we say we’ve found a causal link? Should we prefer simple scientific theories?”

The UMass Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) supported Schilling’s application. According to Susan K. Whitbourne, director of ONSA, Schilling’s application was remarkable for its scope and sophistication. “Haley’s potential to make significant contributions to the philosophy of science is truly laudatory. I am confident she will become a major figure in this important area, benefiting not only scholars in the field but also researchers pursuing the genetic causes of disease,” Whitbourne says. UMass philosophy professors Louise Antony, Chris Meacham and Kevin Klement supported the application with recommendations. 

Established 35 years ago, the scholarship program has selected more than 570 college juniors from more than 100 undergraduate institutions for support during graduate study at any accredited university.

“This scholarship will provide substantial financial support for graduate school. It’s an incredible honor. I was ecstatic when I received the notification and am still pinching myself a little bit,” says Schilling.

There are no geographic restrictions on the use of the scholarship, and recipients can supplement the award with other scholarships, assistantships and research grants. Scholars are encouraged to begin graduate study as soon as possible following graduation from college, and must utilize all of the funding within five years of completion of undergraduate studies.