University Scholar student racks up eight conference paper presentations

March 15, 2011

By the year's end, Baylor's Stephen Margheim will have presented eight conference papers on a variety of topics at places such as Cornell and Pepperdine. Such a feat would be impressive for most tenured faculty.

Stephen Margheim

But Margheim isn't a professor; he's just a junior in Baylor's University Scholars program.

That program is what brought the Alexandria, La., native and National Merit Finalist to Baylor. University Scholars pursue an individualized course of study with the guidance of a program director.

"What I really wanted were the resources of a large research university combined with the interactions between students and professors of a smaller liberal arts university," he said. "Baylor has been really great in that respect."

Margheim has chosen a classics and philosophy concentration, and his papers often reflect his interests. He is also a Crane Scholar, a program specifically suited for gifted students who are interested in connections between knowledge, learning and Christian faith.

"Stephen's high level of activity at scholarly conferences rivals that of our most productive faculty," said Dr. Thomas Hibbs, dean of the honors college. "It is a monument to hard work inspired by the love of learning."

Margheim has able to excel because of his dedication to improving his writing. This progress "has only come through my interactions with a number of professors who've made it a point to teach writing," he said. "Tons of Baylor professors are willing and able, but you have to seek them out and tell them you are interested."

He credited Dr. David Corey, associate professor of political science, and Dr. Julia Hejduk, associate professor of classics who teaches Latin at Baylor, for pushing his writing to the next level.