Senior Awarded Prestigious Davies-Jackson Scholarship to Study at Cambridge


MACON – Mercer University senior Teal St. Nicklaus was recently awarded a Davies-Jackson Scholarship by the Council of Independent Colleges.

This prestigious award provides the opportunity for students with exceptional academic records, who are among the first generation in their families to graduate college, to participate in a course of study at St. John's College at the University of Cambridge in England.

“Teal's enthusiasm and curiosity are boundless, and she will find an ideal environment to indulge those traits at Cambridge,” said Dr. David A. Davis, director of fellowships and scholarships and associate professor of English. “Mercer is exceptionally proud of her many accomplishments, and we are certain that she will flourish in England.”

Recipients of the Davies-Jackson Scholarship are admitted to Cambridge as affiliated students in St. John's College to work toward a Cambridge Bachelor of Arts degree. Scholarship recipients take the more advanced courses of study over two years instead of the usual three. As a result of its academic rigor, the international travel opportunities that are available and the overall preparation that the course of study provides towards a career, this degree is typically considered to be the equivalent of a master's degree in the U.S.

St. Nicklaus, an English literature and philosophy double-major from Portland, Oregon, will pursue the affiliated Bachelor of Arts in English literature during her first year at St. John's College and the Master of Philosophy in medieval and Renaissance literature during her second year.

“I am thrilled beyond words to be able to study alongside some of the best academics in the field of medieval studies. Access to archives plenteous in medieval manuscripts like the Special Collections at Cambridge University Library will allow me to complete research otherwise impossible. Contact with these primary documents that do not exist in facsimile is essential to making the types of discoveries about methods of medieval interpretation and the unique moments of transmission that my research will focus upon,” said St. Nicklaus, who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in medieval languages and literatures and a career as a University professor and scholar of medieval social forms.

“By examining the social structures of medieval Britain and investigating medieval answers to life's questions about what it means to be virtuous or what loyalty and family are worth, we can learn how social forms impact a culture's worldview. Through this type of discovery, I hope to become a voice for change and acceptance. For we writers are, as Shelley puts it, 'the unacknowledged legislators of the world.' I want to be the tinder that sparks a new understanding in international relations.”

St. Nicklaus, who also has a minor in creative writing with an emphasis in poetry, is pursuing honors in both her majors as well as an honors project in her minor.

She currently carries a 4.0 grade-point average while holding numerous leadership positions, such as editor-in-chief of Mercer's literary magazine The Dulcimer and president of both Sigma Tau Delta English honor society and Phi Sigma Tau philosophy honor society. She also serves as a preceptor scholar, tutoring students in advanced English and philosophy.

She is the recipient of several University awards, including Outstanding Junior in Literary Studies, Outstanding Service as an Advanced Preceptor and Outstanding Service as a Preceptor from the College of Liberal Arts, as well as the National Engaged Leader Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success.

St. Nicklaus is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Sigma Tau, Omicron Delta Kappa, Golden Key, National Society of Leadership and Success and Sigma Tau Delta honor societies.

She has presented her work at several conferences, including the National Conference on Peer Writing and Tutoring, the Southeast Philosophy Congress and Mercer's Breakthroughs in Engagement, Arts and Research (BEAR) Day.

The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of nonprofit independent colleges and universities that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership; advance institutional excellence; and enhance public understanding of private higher education's contributions to society. For more information on the Davies-Jackson Scholarship, visit