Featured Alumna: Claire Jenson
Art History Major, Oberlin College 2012
CUPA Year 2010-2011
Students have been traveling to Paris to study for centuries; I, too benefited from the scholarly heritage of the Middle Ages’ foremost university city. With the art historical resources of Paris at my fingertips, and the invaluable guidance and support of generous faculty mentors, I was able to take on the task of identifying and re-ordering the separated leaves of a French illuminated missal. Unlike other textual studies, however, my work began with one serious disadvantage: I had only one leaf of the manuscript. The rich academic resources of Paris allowed me to carry out a scholarly investigation, and the experience of being an international student required me to take charge of my studies in a new, independent, way. CUPA’s organization stresses the autonomy of the student; each undergraduate creates his or her own curriculum from the offerings, including graduate level courses, at numerous Parisian universities. This opportunity, and the encouragement of the CUPA staff, allowed me to register for Master-level seminars. The professors I met supported my work, shared advice, suggested resources, and offered encouragement. I owe much of the success of my research to these generous scholars.