Tess Casher is Mount Allison’s 56th Rhodes Scholar
SACKVILLE, NB — Mount Allison University honours English student Tess Casher has been awarded a 2023 Rhodes Scholarship from the University of Oxford. Casher is one of 11 Canadians to receive the prestigious award and the 56th student from Mount Allison.
“It still feels surreal,” Casher says. “It was exciting to meet leaders and scholars through the thought-provoking and introspective Rhodes selection process. I’m incredibly grateful to Mount Allison University and the English Department for creating a dynamic supportive environment that enabled me to develop my passions and scholarship.”
Casher grew up in Doha, Qatar and now calls Whitehorse, Yukon home. Her list of accomplishments is long, including serving as co-President of the local World University Service of Canada (WUSC) chapter, helping to secure additional funding to support an Afghan student refugee, and creating a book.
Through the Reisman Internship program, Casher developed and wrote a middle-grade novel, Impedi(me)ents on Ice, which focuses on stuttering – a condition Casher has lived with and embraced her entire life. The book will be published next spring and used to supplement clinical training at the Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research.
“I wanted to aid other youth impacted by their speech,” says Casher. “Impedi(me)ents on Ice fosters representation of the stuttering experience and informs fluent speakers how they can compassionately communicate with someone who stutters.”
“Tess’s accomplishments and contributions to the Mount Allison community, from her leadership with the World University Service of Canada local chapter to her forthcoming book project, and stellar academic record are explementary achievements,” says University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau. “I congratulate her on receiving the Rhodes Scholarship and wish her all the best in her studies at the University of Oxford.”
An honours English student with a minor in religious studies, Casher holds many academic awards, including the Bell Scholarship, one of Mount Allison’s most prestigious entrance awards, the McKiel Scholarship (highest level of academic achievement in English), and the Ebutt Trust Scholarship, recognizing excellent performance in religious studies.
Casher has also worked to support her fellow students, both academically and in extracurricular activities. She has worked as a tutor and intern for the University’s Writing Resource Centre, a departmental teacher’s assistant, and volunteered as president of the English Society and editor-in-chief and president of the Atlantic Journal of International Studies over the course of her time at Mount Allison.
Valued at more than $100,000, the Rhodes Scholarship is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the world, covering the cost of postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford in the U.K. With 56 scholars to date, Mount Allison has one of the best records, per capita, in Canada for the esteemed award.
Casher plans to obtain a MSt in English Literatures with a focus on the Victorian era, beginning an academic career that explores literature’s influence on readers’ engagement with global challenges.