Five Women Named Mitchell Scholars

The George J. Mitchell Scholarships are administered by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance. Winners of these prestigious scholarships are selected to pursue a year of post-graduate study at universities on the island of Ireland. Created more than a decade ago, the scholarship program was named in honor of U.S. Senator George Mitchell’s role as chairman of the Northern Ireland peace talks. The program was initially eliminated from this year’s budget of the Department of State but a campaign by elected officials, university presidents, and the government of Ireland persuaded the State Department to continue the program.

This year’s fourteenth class of 12 Mitchell Scholars was chosen from nearly 300 applicants. Five of the 12 new Mitchell Scholars are women.

(L to R) Wardah Athar, Flannery Cunningham, Emily Fritze, Sarah Johnson, and Marian Royston

Wardah Athar from Saudi Arabia spent time as a youth in Texas before returning with her family to Saudi Arabia. She returned to the United States and is a senior at Georgetown University, where she is majoring in neurobiology. At Georgetown, Athar is president of the Muslim Students Association and is chair of the undergraduate research committee. She plans to study neuroscience at Trinity College in Dublin.

Flannery Cunningham grew up in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She is a senior at Princeton University, where she is majoring in music. She is a composer and is currently working on the score of an opera about the 1804 duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.  In Ireland, she will study composition at University College Cork.

Emily Fritze graduated from the University of Arizona in 2011 with a degree in political science. She is a special assistant to the undersecretary of energy working on sustainable energy projects. A native of Phoenix, Fritze was president of the student body at the University of Arizona and worked in the congressional office of former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords. In Ireland, she will study higher education at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Sarah Johnson is a senior at the University of Alabama, where she is majoring in mechanical engineering. Her research focuses on improving the performance of biofuels in colder weather. She has worked as an intern for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Johnson plans on obtaining a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and will study at Queen’s University in Belfast.

Marian Royston is a native of Roanoke, Alabama. She is currently a senior at Auburn University where she is majoring in history with minors in political science and community and civic engagement. She has conducted an oral history project on the battle to integrate the public school system in Macon County, Alabama. As a Mitchell Scholar, Royston will study community development at Queen’s University in Belfast.

Filed Under: Featured


RSSComments (1)

Leave a Reply

  1. Jaconda Wagner says:

    Well done ladies. I hope the foundation produces a report that notifies us of where you and your counterparts are throughout your career – 10, 20, 30, etc. years from time of your scholarship.

Leave a Reply