Five Women Named Mitchell Scholars

mitchell-scholar-thumbThe George J. Mitchell Scholarships are administered by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance. Winners of these prestigious scholarships are selected to pursue a year of postgraduate study at universities on the island of Ireland. Created in 1998, the scholarship program was named in honor of U.S. Senator George Mitchell, who was chair of the Northern Ireland peace talks.

The program has been funded by the U.S. Department of State but this funding has been eliminated. Despite a campaign by elected officials, university presidents, and the government of Ireland, the funding as not been restored. Unless other funding is secured, this may be the last class of Mitchell Scholars.

This year’s class of 12 Mitchell Scholars was chosen from 270 applicants. Five of the 12 new Mitchell Scholars are women.


(L to R) Rachel Green, Fatima Mirza, Julianne Norton, Keelie Sheridan, and Tara Torabi

Rachel Green, from Germantown, Tennessee, is a senior at Indiana University in Bloomington. She is majoring in economics and sociology. On campus, she is co-chair of Culture of Care, a sexual assault awareness organization that trains students on bystander intervention. In Ireland, she will study moral, legal, and political philosophy at Queen’s University in Belfast. She plans to become a public interest attorney.

Fatima Mirza is a senior at Harvard University, where she is majoring in chemical and physical biology. She is the science news editor for the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper. She has conducted research in Chile and at Massachusetts General Hospital. She plans on attending medical school. In Ireland, Mirza will study public health at University College Cork.

Julianne Norton is a senior at the University of Connecticut. She is an international relations major and is completing a minor in studio art. On campus, Norton is cofounder and president of Everybody Arts, an outreach program to schools with underfunded art programs. She also leads an improv comedy group and is writing a graphic novel. Norton plans to go to law school. She will study creative writing at the National University of Ireland in Galway.

Keelie Sheridan, from Brooklyn, New York, is a graduate of Empire State College of the State University of New York System. She also holds a master of fine arts degree in acting from Brooklyn College. She has competed in the World Championships of Irish Dance and has appeared in a large number of theatrical productions. Sheridan will study directing at Trinity College Dublin.

Tara Torabi, from Sedona, Arizona, is a senior at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where she is majoring in neuroscience. Her research interests focus on Alzheimer’s disease. She plans to become a physician. In Ireland, Torabi will study neuropharmacology at the National University of Ireland in Galway.

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