Eleven Women Win Marshall Scholarships

marshall-scholars-thumbIn 1953 the Marshall Scholarship 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 two years of study at a British university, travel, living expenses, and a book allowance. Applicants must earn a degree at an American college or university with a minimum of a 3.7 grade point average. Up to 40 Marshall scholarships can be given out each year. This year the Marshall Foundation selected 32 winners. Eleven are women.


(L to R) Audrey Berdahl-Baldwin, Jessica Bickel-Barlow, Ophelia Johnson, Emaline Laney, Bianca Lepe, and Leah Matchett

Audrey Berdahl-Baldwin is a senior at Princeton University from St. Paul, Minnesota. She is history major who is pursuing certificates in African American studies, American studies, and urban studies. In England, Berdahl-Baldwin plans to study for a master’s degree in history at the University of Manchester and for a master’s degree in comparative social policy at the University of Oxford. When she returns to the United States, she plans to attend law school.

Jessica Bickel-Barlow is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she double majored in English literature and in radio, television and film. With her Marshall Scholarship, Bickel-Barlow will pursue a master’s degree in the Shakespeare studies program at Kings College London and a second master’s in directing classical and contemporary text at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She hopes to establish and direct her own theater company.

Ophelia Johnson is a graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the university in engineering. Johnson is a former UNCF Merck Undergraduate Research Fellow and won a Goldwater Scholarship. Johnson will spend a year studying medical device design and entrepreneurship at Imperial College London.

Emaline Laney is a senior at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She is double majoring in chemistry and public health. She plans on a career as a physician/researcher. In England, Laney plans to pursue a master’s degree in epidemiology and a master’s degree in the control of infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A resident of Granada Hills, California, Bianca Lepe is a senior at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. She is majoring in bioengineering. Lepe will spend the 2016–2017 academic year at the University of Edinburgh studying for a master’s degree in synthetic biology. The following year, Lepe will pursue a master’s degree in science communication at at Imperial College London.

Leah Matchett of Grand Haven, Michigan, is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. She is double majoring in global studies and geology. Matchett plans to earn a doctoral degree in international relations at the University of Oxford. Her research interests include nuclear nonproliferation and climate change.


(L to R) Bianca Mulaney, Moriah Mulroe, Meredith Paker, Rebecca Panovka, and Anu Ramachandran

Bianca Mulaney is a senior at Harvard University majoring in economics. She is an undergraduate associate of the university’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and serves as co-president of Harvard Undergraduate Global Health Forum. In England, Mulaney will study at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Moriah Mulroe is a senior at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She is majoring in biochemistry and geological sciences. In England, she will spend a year exploring interdisciplinary approaches to studying water resource issues at Queen Mary University of London and a second year studying geochemistry.

Meredith Paker, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, will graduate this spring from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in mathematics. With her Marshall Scholarship, Paker plans to pursue a master’s degree in economic and social history from the University of Oxford. She then plans to study for a Ph.D. in economics and for a career in academia.

Rebecca Panovka is a senior at Harvard University, majoring in English. She has served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Book Review and a fiction board member of the Harvard Advocate, where she is editing an anthology that will be published in 2016 to celebrate the organization’s 150th anniversary. In England, she will study at the University of Cambridge.

Anu Ramachandran is a 2013 graduate of the University of Southern California with a double major in neuroscience and philosophy. She will take a one-year leave of absence from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to study public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

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