Two Wellesley Seniors Receive Foreign Study and Travel Awards

For immediate release:
May 16, 2006
Arlie Corday

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Wellesley College senior Daphne Francois of Roslindale, Mass., has been awarded the 2006 Susan Rappaport Knafel ’52 Scholarship for Foreign Study. The $25,000 scholarship funds a year of study at a foreign institution to pursue a specific subject that requires contact with foreign scholars, libraries or other resources.

Wellesley College senior Nicole Paxton of Grayson, Ga., has received the 2006 Susan Rappaport Knafel ’52 Traveling Fellowship. The $25,000 fellowship funds a year of travel abroad to explore a particular interest—with the requirement that the recipient not remain in the same area for more than two months.

A classical studies major, Francois will continue her study of the classics at the University of Cambridge in England. “This experience will prepare me for a graduate program,” Francois said. “I will eventually obtain a Ph.D. in classical studies.” Since September 2004, Francois has also been the recipient of a national Mellon Mays Fellowship, a doctoral fellowship preparing her for graduate study. She has won the 2005 McCann Prize, a summer archaeology award.

Francois is a graduate of Boston Latin School. At Wellesley, she has spent a semester in Greece, studying ancient Greek civilization, and a summer in Italy, studying at the Archaeological Field School in Sardinia. She has served as department tutor for both Latin and Greek and earned First Year Academic Distinction. In addition, she has acted in the Ethos Art Program and has been production manager and Greek chorus member in an Euripidean tragedy, president of the New Classics Club, stage manager of the Latina Cultural Show and volunteer tutor for Ethos Bridge the Gap Program and Wellesley Words on Wheels.

Paxton, an art history and Italian studies major, will focus on contemporary Eastern Orthodox Christian iconography, traveling to Orthodox monasteries in France, Cyprus, Serbia, Romania, Russia and Israel to study the painting of religious icons, looking at ancient traditions as well as modern innovations.

“My goal for this project is to form a unique and new perspective in the field of Byzantine art and to conduct an analytical study of contemporary iconography composed of examples from these representative countries,” she said.

Paxton is a 2002 alumna of Brookwood High School in Snellville, Ga. At Wellesley, she has earned First Year Academic Distinction, the Philoptochos Scholarship, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association Scholarship and the Hellenic Times Scholarship. She studied abroad in Greece through the Wellesley Slater Grant and the Ismene Phylactopoulou Memorial Scholarship. She also attended the Eastern College Consortium in Bologna, Italy. She has been secretary of the Mock Trial Team, a volunteer with senior citizens, secretary and health representative with Wellesley House Councils, social chair of Hellenic Society, president of the Wellesley Belly Dancing Society and member of the Maids of Athena, a community service organization that promotes Greek culture.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For more information, go to

Daphne Francois '06

Nicole Paxton '06