Monika Tesarova Fund Bursary: Making a difference to Kellogg students

27 March 2018

Each year Kellogg College is pleased to offer a Monika Tesarova Fund Bursary of £100 made available due to the generosity of a College Fellow.

The Monika Tesarova Fund Bursary exists to support a student wishing to invest in their studies or take up an opportunity while studying at Oxford that they would ordinarily be precluded from doing due to financial constraints. While this does not have to be directly relevant to their studies, it must be something that they believe will enhance their experience of studying at Oxford.

Dessa Meehan at Tusculum Antiquum, an archaeology site in Italy.

This year’s recipient is Dessa Meehan (MSt Classical Archaeology) who used the award to help fund a trip to Italy to engage in a week-long Latin course. Dessa told us:

“I would like to take this time to thank the donors of the Monika Tesarova Fund Bursary and Kellogg College for choosing me as the recipient of this award. Receiving this bursary allowed me to attend a week-long Latin language immersion trip in Frascati, Italy where Ciceronian Latin is spoken as the everyday language. While on the experience, I read texts by Cicero, Ovid, and Tacitus in the original, attended a variety of lectures conducted in Latin on philosophy, history, and music, gave a farewell speech, and immersed myself completely in a Latin speaking world where all conversations, on any topic, were solely conducted in the language. It is amazing that, in only a week, I am much more able to follow and contribute to complex conversations in a language that has no native speakers. I no longer have the extra step of translating between English and Latin before I speak, but rather can do it automatically. It is the Monika Tesarova Bursary that has allowed me to reach that milestone.

As an MSt Classical Archaeology student, and especially as a Romanist, a significant grasp of Latin is essential. Because I am interested in a group relatively underrepresented in literature, non-aristocratic women, I cannot rely on translated works. I believe that, many times, an author’s original meaning is lost during translation because there is not always an English word to encompass what an author meant in the original. By attending this experience, I increased my knowledge colloquially and scholarly and started to understand ancient works in the original Latin. Language understanding begins at the ability to speak it; and an immersive experience is the best way to accomplish that goal.

Oxford has always been my dream, though it is a dream that comes with a significant financial component. I am completely self-funding my studies and, without partial support, would not have been able to attend this immersive experience. Receiving this bursary has not only allowed me to increase my knowledge of and comfort with Latin, but it has also boosted my confidence in my ability to succeed as an academic. The week was extremely difficult but absolutely priceless and I thank the Monika Tesarova donors for the funding that has allowed me to grow as a student, a speaker, and a researcher.”

Find out more about awards and scholarships at Kellogg.