Religious Studies major learns Sanskrit

Dustin Hall

Dustin Hall

Dustin Hall of Hubbard is spending his summer immersed in studying another language. The senior religious studies major will be completing two semesters of intermediate Sanskrit in just eight weeks through the South Asian Summer Language Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

After an intensive application process, Hall was accepted into the program and granted a full scholarship. His advisor, Michael Jerryson, assistant professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, recommended that he look into the Summer Language Institute, and even taught Hall’s first year of Sanskrit through directed studies, since it is not offered at YSU currently.

Sanskrit is a written language, used primarily as the liturgical language of Hinduism, and as a scholarly literary language. Sanskrit is meant to be recited rather than spoken, so Hall and his 10 classmates are learning to chant, as well as learning grammar by reading major pieces of literature.

Hall is applying to graduate programs to continue his studies in South Asian religions, focusing on Hinduism, Sanskrit and Sanskrit literature, so this program is a natural fit for him. As a student at YSU he serves as the spiritual chair of the Religious Studies and Philosophy Club, is a member of YSUnity, sits on the Safe Zone Advisory Council and works as a student tutor at the Writing Center.

(Profile by Rebecca Brown)