posted on August 8: The myth of Europa a passion for graduate scholarship winner


The Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) are awards that McMaster's graduate students compete for with students from across the province. For each scholarship, universities are required to provide one-third of the $15,000 award, with the government providing the rest. The following is a profile of an OGS recipient:

When Bridget Day learned she had been awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) she felt “incredible relief.”

“I started crying. I was so relieved,” she says. “For me to receive the OGS means I don't have to apply for the Ontario Student Assistance Plan (OSAP) this year. I can pay my own way.”

Day has a $45,000 student loan debt. “Every time I have to apply for OSAP again it is just heart-wrenching, When I received the OSAP renewal form it was great to be able to toss it out. It was the greatest feeling.”

In addition to financial relief, the OGS award also gives Day “a sense of personal accomplishment. I feel I've come into my own in my academic career. To have recognition is a wonderful feeling.”

Day is a PhD student in classics, the study of ancient languages. She received her first McMaster undergraduate degree in psychology, but a passion for “everything about antiquity in the Greek and Roman world” led her to obtain a second undergraduate degree in classics.

She has two master's degrees from McMaster, both in classics.

She is writing her doctoral thesis on the myth of Europa, kidnapped by the god Zeus, as it has been told in ancient Greek and Latin mythology over the course of 900 years.

“I just love the story,” she says. “Part of the fascination is how different poets have treated the story.”

Day's ability to understand ancient Greek and Latin means she can read the poems as they were originally written and does not have to rely on an English translation.

Day defines classics as the study of the history, art and archaeology of the Greek and Roman worlds.

Part of her fascination is “the puzzle of trying to discover what kind of a life it really was. There is always some new way of looking at a different angle of this puzzle and coming up with new ideas. Being a part of collecting a couple of new pieces for the puzzle is very exciting.”