Seven American Women Win Marshall Scholarships

marshall-scholars-thumbIn 1953 the Marshall Scholarships program was established by an act of the British Parliament. Funded by the British government, the program is a national gesture of thanks to the American people for aid received under the Marshall Plan, the U.S.-financed program that led to the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. The scholarships provide funds for up to two years of study at a British university, and include money for travel, living expenses, and books. Applicants must earn a degree at an American college or university with a minimum of a 3.7 grade point average.

The Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission is authorized to award up to 40 scholarships each year. This year 34 scholarships were awarded. It appears from WIAReport research, that seven of the 34 winners are women.


(L to R) Katelyn Davidson, Stephanie Figgins, Hillary Hurd, Jessica Mason, Jennifer Mills, Brittany Partridge, and Elizabeth Stoker

Katelyn Davidson is a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. In May she will be commissioned as surface warfare officer. At the academy, she is the first female editor of The Log, a student-run humor magazine dating back to 1913.  An English major, she competes on the academy’s varsity swimming team. She will study at Queen’s University in Belfast.

Stephanie Figgins is a 2011 graduate of George Washington University, where she majored in economics and international affairs. After graduation, she went to Morocco to study Arabic and then worked as a journalist in Egypt. As a Marshall Scholar, she will study for a master’s degree in postcolonial culture and global policy at Goldsmiths College of the University of London and a master’s degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at The School of Oriental and African Studies.

Hillary Hurd is a senior at the University of Virginia. A native of Richmond, she is double majoring in Russian and East European studies and politics. At the University of Virginia, Hurd is the editor-in-chief of the Wilson Journal of International Affairs. And she is the student member of the university’s Board of Visitors. As a Marshall Scholar, Hurd will seek a master’s degree in international relations and politics at Cambridge University and a master’s degree in peace and conflict studies at St. Andrews.

Jessica Mason was the valedictorian of her class at New York University where she doubled majored in social work and history. After graduation she worked for a relief organization in Haiti before taking a job with YouTube for Good. As a Marshall Scholar, she plans to study politics at the London School of Economics and internet policy at Oxford University.

Jennifer Mills is a senior at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She will graduate Phi Beta Kappa this May with degrees in earth science, chemistry, and integrated science. As a Marshall Scholar, Mills will study earth science at Cambridge University and global environment and climate change law at the University of Edinburgh.

Brittany Partridge is the first student in the history of Abilene Christian University in Texas to win both a Truman Scholarship and a Marshall Scholarship. She graduated from Abilene Christian in December 2012 with a degree in political science. A native of Annandale, Minnesota, she will spend time this spring working as an intern with the International Forum of Solidarity in the Netherlands and Bosnia/Herzegovina before studying as a Marshall Scholar in Great Britain.

Elizabeth Stoker is a senior at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. This spring she will graduate with degrees in English and sociology, and a minor in Near Eastern and Judaic studies. While at Brandeis, she served on the board of directors of a local homeless shelter and conducted research in Germany and Switzerland. In England, she will seek a master’s degree in Christian ethics at Oxford University.

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