Supporting young editorial leaders

The Thomas E. Wood Fellowship was created in 2018 with a $50,000 gift from Sally Wood, whose daughter and late husband attended Amherst. The fund supports one student intern each year who possesses exceptional editorial promise and leadership skills. These students are known as Thomas E. Wood ’61 Fellows, in honor of the donor’s late husband, an English major, avid reader, and gifted writer and poet. 

Thomas E. Wood '61   Image of Sofia Belimova's headshot.

“We are deeply grateful to the Wood family for this generous gift,” said Jennifer Acker, editor in chief of The Common. “We are pleased to be able to honor Mr. Wood’s memory and to strengthen and expand our mentorship of talented student leaders who display a passion for literature.” Since 2010, Acker has directed the Literary Publishing Internship (LPI), which employs eight to 10 students during the school year, during the January Interterm and over the summer. Interns critically evaluate submissions; write, edit and proofread prose and poetry; create multimedia web features; write and design publicity materials; develop, organize and staff innovative events on campus and across the country; and research magazine production and distribution.

“I would like to thank the family of Thomas E. Wood ’61 for their gift and for their commitment to the vibrant literary community at Amherst,” said Amherst College President Biddy Martin. “This generous support for The Common’s internship program allows our exceptional students to engage deeply and consequentially in reading and writing outside the classroom.”

Sofia Belimova ’22 is the fourth recipient of the Thomas E. Wood ’61 Fellowship. Sofia, a senior English major at Amherst, has worked for The Common since her sophomore year. She is currently working on a thesis about Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. Her writing has received a number of academic awards and has been published in The Amherst Student and a student-run publication called Cerealization

“I am immensely grateful to the Wood family for this gift and for making this opportunity possible," Belimova said. "I am so excited for the literary experiences it will entail." 

Julia Pike ’19 was the inaugural Wood Fellow.