Graduation Stories: Gates Cambridge Scholarship opens new doors for Rutgers recipient after college
When Michael Antosiewicz received the email notifying him that he won the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, it was in the early hours of a February morning asleep and slumped over his computer.
The scholarship decision makers live in England, the School of Arts and Sciences senior said, meaning winners from the United States heard the announcement extremely early. Antosiewicz said he fell asleep around 2:30 a.m. that morning and woke up with his laptop on his stomach. Initially, he did not notice the message in his inbox but after refreshing the page he realized he had won.
“The third line was ‘you have been awarded the Gates Scholarship,’” he said.
His victory marks the 10th Gates Scholarship winner to come from Rutgers in 11 years, a feat he was not always bent on achieving, he said.
He explained that advice and efforts from Arthur Casciato, the director of Rutgers Office of Distinguished Fellowships, convinced him to apply for a Gates Cambridge scholarship.
“I was really interested in (a) Fulbright (scholarship), and so I met with him at the end of my junior year … and on each occasion, he was like ‘why don’t you apply to Gates?’” Antosiewicz said.
When he first came to Rutgers, he planned on studying history and philosophy but had to take a language requirement that led to enrolling in Latin. He said the language blew him away and steered him toward becoming a classics and history double major.
Antosiewicz said that during his junior year he began focusing on and engaging with classical reception, which made him think that the Gates Cambridge program might be a good fit for him as it gives him time to really experiment and to look at classical reception literature in a more creative light.
With Gates Cambridge around the corner as he prepares to graduate from Rutgers, Antosiewicz said that he does not know yet what he wants to do further down the road. For now, he explained that he is excited to explore the different doors that the scholarship opens and all that the program has to offer.