Letter of Recommendation
Dr Art Vanden Houten
Flagler College, Florida
P.O. BOX 1027
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL 32085-1027

To whom it may concern:

Lorna Bracewell has asked me to write a letter of recommendation in support of her music and education efforts. I am genuinely delighted to do so. While attending Flagler College, Lorna was a student in many of my political science courses, and I also worked with her in endeavors outside of the classroom. In those classes, Lorna was invariably the most accomplished of all of the students. All of my dealings with Lorna Bracewell demonstrate to me that she is a person of the highest intellect and character

My classes are small (usually fewer than 20 students) and demanding. The courses are organized around the close reading of the assigned primary texts and extensive discussion about the issues these works raise. Class participation and three writing assignments are the methods I typically use to evaluate the students. In all of the courses that she took with me, Lorna's performance was always excellent. From her comments in class, it was invariably clear that she had read the material closely and gave serious thought to her remarks before speaking. Always prepared for class, Lorna's comments demonstrated intelligence, maturity, curiosity and understanding deserving the highest commendation. Particularly impressive was her ability to make incisive connections between the reading assigned for any particular class period and other works we had read in class, or those she may have read on her own.

Perhaps remarkably, Lorna's written work may be even more impressive. Her essays demonstrated a subtle grasp of the material and an ability to construct her own thoughtful arguments about the issues that the classes engaged. Moreover, her writing beyond being clear and well organized was highly engaging. All of these attributes made Lorna a welcome student in my classes. In fact, her precocious nature was so conspicuous during her first semester, that I invited her and strongly encouraged her to take my senior seminar on genocide the second semester her freshman year. She excelled in that class and the next semester, the first of her sophomore year, she was the finest student in my senior seminar on Ancient Political Thought. In every subsequent course that she took with me, Lorna performed at the highest possible level. Indeed, it was clear by the end of her sophomore year that she was thinking with such sophistication that I could not fully respond to her without leaving the vast majority of students behind. Obviously, Lorna did work far beyond the undergraduate level and has become an intellectual colleague in the truest sense of the word.

Working with Lorna has been the rarest of privileges. On a fundamental level, none of this is surprising. In addition to her considerable intellectual gifts, Lorna possesses the love of learning and passion for the world that are critical ingredients for being a gifted teacher and living a life of the mind. These attributes will make her a highly accomplished teacher in whatever venue she employs them. Indeed, as a student Lorna had already become a teacher. Her work in class at Flagler made it inevitable that her fellow students (and her teacher) learned an enormous amount from her simply by working with her in class.

I have also had the privilege of spending a good deal of time with Lorna outside of the classroom. As a student, she was a regular and welcome visitor to my office. From these conversations, it was unequivocally clear that Lorna is a sophisticated and subtle thinker, a challenging and refreshing interlocutor. All of my encounters with Lorna Bracewell indicate to me that she possesses intellectual ability, energy, and curiosity of the highest caliber. She also strikes me as very mature. I have no doubt that she will excel in the future and has the requisite talents to become a superior scholar and teacher.

I have taught over 2000 students at Flagler College and in the Department of Government and International Studies at the University of South Carolina, and Lorna is simply the finest student that I have had in my years of teaching. I, therefore, without reservation, eagerly give her my highest possible recommendation. If I can be of further assistance in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at (904) 819-6274.


Art Vanden Houten
Associate Professor