March 27, 2019
AJ Belville ’21 has earned a scholarship from the St. Andrews Society of Philadelphia and will spend his junior year at the University of Glasgow, the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world.
Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is one of Scotland’s four ancient universities. The scholarship is given by the society through a selective process that includes an interview and essay.
“It surprised me. I was speechless,” says Belville, who is from Wallingford, Delaware County, Pa. “It was incredibly competitive and an honor to just be nominated for it. This is as big as it gets.”
Ursinus is one of only 30 colleges and universities whose students can be awarded this scholarship, and the college can only nominate one student each year. The society sends five students each year to study at Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Glasgow and Aberdeen universities, and brings one student from St. Andrews University to study at the University of Pennsylvania.
Belville says he’s excited to immerse himself in Scottish culture while abroad and gain global perspectives on the sciences.
“I’m really excited to get into a research program there and learn science at one of the oldest universities in the world,” he says. “Research is my passion. It’s what I want to do with my life and my career, and I think this is an opportunity to separate myself when I apply to graduate school.”
Before he heads east and across the Atlantic Ocean, Belville will perform genetics research with Rebecca Lyczak, a professor of biology, as an Ursinus summer fellow and present at a conference in California. He says the summer fellows research, followed by the year abroad, will provide him with “a broader context for the research I’ve wanted to do since I was 12 years old.”
Belville, who is the recipient of the Mutch Scholarship, is the first Ursinus winner since Bailey Ludwig ’19 in 2017. An Ursinus student was the first St. Andrews scholar, according to the society history. In 1958 the society selected William Godshalk ’59, who went on to earn his Ph.D. at Harvard and become an English professor. —By Ed Moorhouse