Michigan State University junior earns nationally competitive graduate school scholarship

April 7, 2021

Wisdom HenryWisdom Henry, an Honors College junior majoring in History, and Urban and Regional Planning in the College of Social Science, has been selected as one of 16 students selected from a pool of 95 nominees across the country to receive a Beinecke Scholarship.

The Beinecke Scholarship pays for up to $34,000 in support for graduate school for students studying the fields of art, humanities or social science. Henry plans to pursue a doctorate in U.S. history researching the consequences of 20th century planning policies on African American urban communities. She is the 5th Beinecke Scholar from MSU since 2011 when the university was invited to be a nominating institution.

“I am honored to receive the prestigious Beinecke Scholarship. With this award, I have the opportunity to further my graduate studies researching alongside many distinguished professors. Achieving this feat would not be possible without the continuous support of my research mentors: Dr. John Waller and Dr. Noah Durst. A very special thank you to Dr. Kristin Janka for her guidance through the tedious application process. Lastly, all of my success is the directly attributable to my mother’s sacrifice, love, and support which continues to motivate my academic endeavors,” said Henry.

Henry is from Glenwood, Illinois and graduated from Crete-Monee High School. She is currently pursuing undergraduate research on gerrymandering and the politics of racial exclusion in cities with Professor Noah Durst in the College of Social Science. Prior to this, Henry conducted an independent research project that examined gentrification and disinvestment in Chicago neighborhoods, supervised by Professors John Waller and Durst. She is a member of the Social Science Scholars Program, and History Scholars Program, and previously presented research about neighborhood change in Chicago, and gerrymandering at the Honors College Diversity Research Showcase.

“I’m so thrilled for Wisdom. Inside and outside of the classroom, Wisdom embodies the values of curiosity, hard work, and academic excellence. Already an award-winning scholar, she has a deep and enduring commitment to advancing knowledge on the roots of and solutions to address issues of social inequality. This is a well-deserved honor. I can’t wait to see what amazing things she will achieve over the course of her career,” said Durst.

The National/International Fellowships and Scholarships (NIFS) Office, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes.

Matthew Zierler

Interim Dean of the MSU Honors College