Critical and positive thinking all paths to excellence

A deep belief in the value of critical thinking, human rights, positive psychology and social wellbeing have resulted in Bachelor of Arts students Rosie Hingston and Jessie Sun being awarded the 2014 Faculty of Arts Excellence Scholarships for outstanding academic achievement.

With the highest overall GPA score for first year in 2013, Rosie Hingston was thrilled to receive news of this new award, stating that it has 'made me aware of my own capacity to achieve academic success'.  Rosie says that undertaking a BA at Melbourne has not only allowed her to pursue her long time interest in archaeology, but also enabled her to discover new interests in history, political ideas and human rights.  These are interests she may follow into an honours degree in Arts or possibly into Law.

For now, Rosie intends to use some of her scholarship to participate in an archaeological dig at Tell is-Safi in, and continues to value her Arts education.  Rosie outlined that education has always been valued highly in her family, but she particularly values the transferable skills she is developing through her BA.  More than anything else, she values 'being trained to think critically' and developing not only 'valid points' but also 'the right words to communicate meaningfully'.

Achieving the highest second-year results in the BA, Jessie Sun is also committed to an Arts degree, but with a scientific and also educational twist.  Jessie's passion is the psychological and social processes that contribute to wellbeing, particularly through education.  Combining psychology, sociology, anthropology and philosophy in her Arts degree, she has developed a particular interest in positive psychology and mindfulness in educational settings.

In the first of half of 2014, Jessie was lucky enough to undertake a semester exchange program at the University of Pennsylvania where she wrote research papers on these topics and has subsequently been a research assistant in the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne, working with Professor Lea Waters.

A classical soprano who has sung choral solos in Germany, Russia, the US and many other countries, as well as an academic support worker for students in anthropology cinema studies and politics, Jessie describes herself as motivated by 'the potential for psychological research to promote human and societal flourishing'.  Looking forward, she wants to extend her degree in Arts into an academic career that will enable her to research more fully 'the psychological and social processes that contribute to wellbeing'.

For more information about the Faculty of Arts Excellence Scholarships and about opportunities to support students studying Arts, please visit our website.