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WK Rose

The W.K. Rose Fellowship Committee is pleased to award Emily Strasser, class of 2010, the W.K. Rose Fellowship for her creative non-fiction project, Half-Life of a Secret

In Emily own words, her project “explores the toxic legacy of secrecy individually and globally through two lenses: the figure of [her] grandfather, a nuclear chemist who worked in a secret lab enriching uranium for the world’s first atomic bomb; and the place of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a city built in secret for the sole purpose of developing the atomic bomb.”  The committee selected Emily for the seriousness of her work in uncovering our past and bearing witness to our present condition; for the rigor and thoroughness of her research and the care she takes in seeking out the truth; and for the impressive accomplishment and sheer pleasure of her writing, which, as she points out, is at the “intersection of poetry and journalism,” combining “memoir, research, metaphor and imagination to explore nuanced human stories.” 

Emily has been publishing her work in significant periodicals, including The New York TimesPloughshares Literary MagazineGuernica: A Magazine of Arts & Politics, andTricycle: The Buddhist Review.  At Vassar, she won the English Department’s Laura Adelina Ward Prize for Excellence in an English thesis, and an Ann Cornelison Fellowship.  She has received other awards since then, including a Hawkinson Foundation for Peace and Justice Scholarship, an Artist Initiative award from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and fellowships from the University of Minnesota, where she is completing an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction this year. Emily plans to use her Rose Fellowship to complete and revise her book and see it through to publication. 

About the W.K. Rose Fellowship

This fellowship is made possible by a bequest from the estate of W. K. Rose, a distinguished scholar and teacher who was a member of the Vassar English Department from 1953 until his untimely death in the fall of 1968. Its object is to provide a worthy young artist with a chance to be free after college to pursue his/her work as an artist. All Vassar graduating seniors and Vassar alumnae/i under the age of 36 at the time of the deadline who demonstrated a creative talent in their years of undergraduate study, who are not presently employed by the college, and who have not already attained substantial recognition in their field will be considered eligible. View more information.