Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe

Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe is a faculty brat with an enduring case of wanderlust. She spreads the contagion as associate director of the Office of Fellowships at Northwestern University, her undergraduate alma mater. She earned masters degrees in European history as a Marshall Scholar at Cambridge University before completing her doctorate in American history at Princeton. Beth perseveres as the lone source of estrogen in a household otherwise populated by rambunctious boys: her husband, two sons, and a border terrier. In her so-called spare time, she fights household entropy, gardens, bakes boozy bundts, enjoys breakfast in Bollywood, and writes scholarly papers about funky monks.

For more, visit http://elizabethlewispardoe.wordpress.com or find Elizabeth on Twitter@ejlp.

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Most Recent Articles

March 1, 2011
In my role as a fellowships adviser, I have a motto: think laterally - not literally. “Tiger mothers” as described by Amy Chua enshrine literal thinking of the kind that dooms overachievers when tested outside the realm of the rote.
February 3, 2011
“What is a fellowship?” This question opened more conversations than I can count over the last four and a half years of my professional life, and it lacks a straightforward answer. Some ‘fellowships’ are in fact scholarships (Rhodes to study at Oxford; Gates to study at Cambridge). Others are grants (Fulbrights for independent projects) or funded internships (Junior Fellows at the Carnegie Foundation; Urban Fellows in New York City). All three categories and a multitude of additional permutations share a fundamental commitment to mentorship.
January 9, 2011
The Economist's 16 December issue opened its article on why doctoral degrees waste 21st century students' time and money with a vignette about Martin Luther. The Economist longed for the days when theses were short, sweet, and revolutionary. I began my own academic life as a historian of Lutheran education and could not avoid seeing the deeper parallels between 16th century and 21st century crises in education.
December 2, 2010
The benighted “MRS” degree bore a particular meaning for my mother’s generation. Young women went off to college with minimal interest in their major and maximum interest in securing a mate. Their graduation took a distant second to their wedding as evidence that they had successfully concluded their college experience. Think of Elizabeth Taylor in Father of the Bride.
November 2, 2010
Anyone in the academy already knows that if a letter of recommendation praises a student as a ‘hard worker,’ the subtext reads, ‘not very bright.’ High prestige scholarships put a high premium on leadership and service to others, but at some point in the transition from Gen X to Gen Y, service fell to a distant second place. Every student I meet seems to have attended some sort of leadership seminar, institute, or retreat and leads something. Most have founded an NGO. Scholarship administrators fume that while many have founded, few have achieved much of anything.
August 1, 2010
My sons and I hold a recurrent discussion about the reason school lets out in early June and resumes on the cusp of September. They adhere to the notion that a summer vacation came to them as a birthright. I point out the critical difference between the break they receive and the vacation they claim.

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