(Posted January 16, 2006)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Steve Knepper, a senior from Blairs Mills, Pa. studying English, has been selected to receive the Davies-Jackson Scholarship in a national competition among first-generation college students. Knepper will study literature at St. John's College at Cambridge University in England.

The Davies-Jackson Scholarship is administered by the Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education, an operating unit within the Council of Independent Colleges. Knepper is the only student nationwide this year chosen for the honor.

The scholarship was established in 1990 by an anonymous benefactor who was a first-generation college student and was educated at Lasalle College, in Philadelphia, Pa.. The scholarship honors two Cambridge University faculty, Hugh Sykes Davies, who helped establish the opportunity for youth to study at Cambridge, and R. Meredith Jackson, who took the anonymous benefactor on an Atlantic small-craft voyage during his stay in England.

"I think after 21 years, I'm ready to leave Huntingdon County," Knepper says. "There are not many universities in the world that were founded during the 13th century, so I am particularly looking forward to the academic challenge of studying at Cambridge."

Knepper will be studying English literature at St. John's College. He continues to have an accomplished career at Juniata. He worked as editorial assistant on "Juniata Voices," an annual collection of speeches given at the college, and served as corresponding editor for the journal NeoAmericanist, a journal devoted to American Studies. He also has served as a residential English as Second Language teacher at the Grier School, near Tyrone, Pa. in summer 2005 and has worked as a Juniata Writing Center tutor since 2003.

He has received numerous academic scholarships, including the Charles C. Ellis Endowed Memorial Scholarship, the John N. Stauffer Endowed Humanities Scholarship and the Calvert Ellis Memorial Scholarship. He is a founding member of Juniata's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the honorary society for English majors, and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society.

He has served as president of Sigma Tau Delta from 2004 to 2006 and served as president of Juniata Instructors of the Future in 2004-2005. He has published an article in the professional journal The Sigma Tau Delta review and has made presentations at the Southern Writers Symposium and at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.