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Across her time at Carolina, Grace Morse’s passion for literature and translation has led her to some of the most exciting opportunities that the Department of English and Comparative Literature has to offer. Grace, a third-year student double-majoring in Global Studies and Romance Languages with a Creative Writing minor, was the 2018 Thomas Wolfe Scholarship winner and was recently awarded the William C. Friday Arts and Humanities Award.

Reflecting back on her time in the department, Grace realized that “I was kind of centered in the craft and the artistry of the ECL department.” Her passion for creative writing and romance languages has led to amazing opportunities in translation work, exploring Global Studies, and studying culture through literature.

As a high school senior thinking about college, Grace decided to apply for the Thomas Wolfe scholarship, “one of the most nerve-wracking things of [her] life.” This quickly changed, however, when Grace was selected as one of the two recipients of the Thomas Wolfe scholarship in 2018.

During her time in her ECL classes, Grace said that being able to speak and present work in front of others confidently is one of the most important skills she learned. In addition to these skills, Grace learned life lessons, such as the importance of being able to receive critique and  “how [to] look at different perspectives.” Most importantly, she learned introspection: “It was very crucial for me to remember who I was as a writer, who I am as a person, where I want to go, who I’m looking to reach with my work—and I think that was something that I got better at understanding each English class I took.”

In her ECL classes, Grace also “got a taste for creative nonfiction” when she was given the opportunity to study in Ireland with Professor Michael Gutierrez. There, Grace was able to further her talent in literary research and translation work. Impressed by her work, Professor Guitierrez nominated her for the William C. Friday Arts and Humanities Award, which she “never thought [she’d] do anything like that so early in the time as a sophomore at Carolina.”

For others looking to begin their journey in the humanities, keeping an open mind is vital. Grace believes in the power of knowledge and says that it’s okay to not know everything:

“Don’t be so concerned about going forward that you miss all the other directions to pursue your interests and pursue your passions, because you never know. And so, being open-minded, being open-hearted, I think can take you really far and will help you identify what you’re looking for and what you want to do.”

Portrait of Grace Morse