April 18, 2019

West Orange resident to study Shakespeare at prestigious university

Hackettstown, N.J., April 18, 2019— West Orange resident Sachel Bise fell in love with Shakespeare’s plays in high school. Now, the Centenary University student will have the opportunity to study the Bard’s works in depth at Oxford University, where she has been accepted to a six-week summer program on the legendary English playwright.

Bise was accepted into the Oxford Study Abroad Program after submitting an application, which included an essay, last January. A double major in English and education, she spent a semester in England last year at the University of Roehampton in London through Centenary’s Study Abroad Program. She enjoyed the experience so much that Patricia Mahaffey, the University’s study abroad coordinator, suggested that she apply to the Oxford summer program.

“I’ve loved Shakespeare since high school,” said Bise, whose favorite Shakespearean play is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “I love the language and the multiple ways it can be interpreted. To be able to study one-on-one with experts on Shakespeare is so exciting.”

After her graduation from Centenary, Bise plans to earn master’s and doctoral degrees, and hopes to someday be a teacher. She lauded faculty members, including Sharon Decker, Ph.D., chair of the English Department, and Joey McMullen, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, as well as Mahaffey, with encouraging her to seek out educational opportunities that have solidified her career goals.

“I love Centenary because everybody is willing to help you succeed,” said Bise. “They provide so many opportunities, and guide you to develop your own opinion. I’ve also had a lot of support from my parents and family. I wouldn’t have reached this point without them.”

Centenary University offers a wide range of study abroad programs, from traditional semesters abroad to short-term opportunities. This spring, a student group traveled to Ireland, where they paid a courtesy call on Irish President Michael D. Higgins to discuss pressing issues facing Ireland and the wider world, including climate change and attitudes on migration. Another group traveled to Cambridge University to conduct forensic studies on human remains at two of the world’s noted osteological collections.


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.

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