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 Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.




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