Students win Marshall, Mitchell scholarships to study in Europe

Trinity College DublinGeorgetown students Shea Houlihan (SFS ’13) and Benjamin Buchanan (C ’11, G ’13) won Marshall Scholarships to study in England, and Wardah Athar (C ’13) won a Mitchell Scholarship to study at Trinity College Dublin. Athar is the fourteenth Georgetown student to win a Mitchell Scholarship; Houlihan and Buchanan bring Georgetown’s total of Marshall Scholarships to 21.

Marshall Scholars

The Marshall Scholarship, which sponsors up to 40 American scholars in graduate studies in the United Kingdom, allows Houlihan to pursue studies in Social Research Methods and Migration Studies at the University of Sussex.

“The program will prepare me to go back into the field to grapple with these thorny issues of outdated regimes and insufficient state incentives,” said Houlihan in an email to the Voice. He hopes to expand his understanding of “survival narratives.”

The International Politics major says that Professors Susan Martin and Elzbieta Gozdziak of Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of International Migration and Professor Alexander Betts at the University of Oxford have guided his interest and challenged him in his studies.

While Houlihan does not know what he wants his career path to be, he will work in a way that will give him the “greatest opportunity to shape forced migration policy.”

Buchanan, who will study how cyberspace impacts international relations, is also unsure of his career path.

“In this field I’m of the opinion that most of the really cool jobs haven’t been invented yet,” he said. “I just think the intersect of technology and strategy is very interesting.”

Buchanan majored in Government as an undergrad and received his masters degree in security studies, focusing on technology and security.

“This is not something I ever planned on getting or even remotely considered,” he said. “It speaks to Georgetown’s credit that this is possible even if you’re not planning in advance for it.”

Mitchell Scholars

The Mitchell Scholarship, which sponsors up to 12 students in one year of graduate study in Ireland, will allow Athar to pursue her passion in neuroscience.

“I think it’s fascinating that chemical interactions between neurons can result in something as complex as emotion or memory,” she said in an email to the Voice. “And I think it’s going to take us a long time to fully understand how that happens.” The prevalence of neurological disorders also interests her.

Studying at Trinity College will allow her to increase her knowledge as well as to study with scientists in Ireland.

“I want to build relationships that will allow for collaborative projects in the future and that will create strong ties between American and Irish neuroscience,” she said.

After her Mitchell year, she hopes to enter an MD/PhD program and specialize in neurosurgery, allowing her to draw connections between clinical work and lab work.

“It’s crucial that we know how the brain works and how we can repair it when it’s damaged,” she said.

Photo of Trinity College Dublin from Flickr under Creative Commons

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