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Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2020

Meet Christian Keegan, one of 10 students selected for a 2020 Summer Research Fellowship. A senior English major from Fruitland Park, Florida, Christian is an active presence on campus. He is a Young Presbyterian Scholar, a Student Government Association senator and a member of the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta. Christian’s project, “Family, Rulers, Rivals: The Letters of Elizabeth I of England and Mary I of Scotland,” was mentored by Dr. Deborah Mitchell, professor of English and film studies.

Why did you apply for the Summer Research Fellowship?
I applied to be a Summer Research Fellow because, firstly, I wanted to work with Dr. Mitchell, one of the most amazing English scholars I have ever studied under. Secondly, I wanted a chance to dive into the letters of Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots. I have always loved the Tudor era, and what better way to study two of the most complex women in history than as a Summer Research Fellow?
Talk about your research.
Queen Elizabeth I of England and Mary I of Scotland had a tumultuous and complicated relationship that played out in letters they wrote to one another. I am analyzing a selection of letters between the two rulers that expose their self-identities and how their relationship influenced their imperial decisions. I hope to achieve a greater breadth of knowledge into two imperial powers as well as work on honing in on research skills that I can bring with me to any job after graduation.
Tell us about your faculty mentor.
Dr. Deborah Mitchell is a scholar, educator and leader like no other. I feel so lucky that I get to work under such a force of knowledge about the Tudor era and beyond. I could be nowhere as productive or well-versed in research then what I am without her expertise and knowledge. I am expanding professionally, academically and personally. I feel very lucky that I get to know and work under such a distinguished English scholar.
What are your post-Westminster plans?
I hope to work in HR Strategy and Communications for mergers and acquisitions transactions at one of the Big 4 global accounting firms, specifically. I will bring the written and verbal communication skills I have learned as an English major with me to be a diverse, flexible and well-written professional.

To learn more about Westminster’s English major, visit

Sponsored by the Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research, Summer Research Fellowships at Westminster College allow students to conduct hands-on research and creative projects under the guidance of our experienced faculty mentors.