To Oxford: Chezum begins PhD work at 21


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Originally Posted Online: Aug. 02, 2010, 12:00 am
Last Updated: Aug. 02, 2010, 12:22 am
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By Todd Welvaert, twelvaert@qconline.com

She's like a lot of college kids at 21. She's looking forward to getting back to school, getting her degree and getting a job.

Except TiffanyChezum's already finished with her undergraduate degree, her masters too. At 21, a time when a lot of college heads are still slogging towards their undergraduate, she's heading off to the University of Oxford in London, to start work on her PhD.

It's not much of a surprise for the people who know her. Ms. Chezum, of Rock Island, started Augustana College at 15. She started kindergarten at 2.

"I'm excited to get back, being home has been nice but since I was a little kid I wanted to go to Oxford, that was it for me, Oxford," Ms. Chezum said.

Mom's pretty excited too. Ms. Chezum won the prestigious Clarendon Scholarship which pays tuition, room and board, and living expenses. She also won a Fulbright Scholarship that will cover her travel expenses.

She will continue her work in archaeology, but will be focusing on late Egyptian art history. She hopes to end up working in a museum, or with UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization. UNESCO's mission includes managing world history sites and fostering appreciation and understanding among countries through science and humanities.

"Archaeology's kind of always been it, I decided that's what I wanted to do when I was 10," Ms. Chezum said. "I just got back from a dig in Jordan, it was a bath house. No gold, but a few interesting bone fragments. It's not like "Indiana Jones.'"

The dig was part of a college class from Queens University, one of Canada's leading universities, where she got her master's. She started in September, 2008, after graduating from Augustana College.

"She's really driven," her mother, Alice Baldwin, said. "She always has been."

After the dig, Ms. Chezum backpacked around Egypt for two weeks with some friends.

"We went to Cairo and saw the pyramids of course, then we went to Luxor, Valley of the Kings, King Tut's tombs, the Aswan Dam," she said. "I've been studying Egypt all my life, so I'm kind of nerd about it."

Some of her professors are surprised when they find out her age, but none express concerns about her ability to do the work.

"When I was 13, I took some college classes and a couple of the professors expressed concerns about me being there and if I was ready," she said.

"Butsince then, I haven't had a professor say anything. I think I've proven I can do the work."




















 




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  Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet.
1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.






(More History)