Nine Women Named Mitchell Scholars

The US-Ireland Alliance recently announced the 12 members of the George J. Mitchell Scholar Class of 2022. One of the country’s most prestigious scholarship programs, it sends future American leaders to the island of Ireland for a year of graduate study. The scholarship program was named in honor of U.S. Senator George Mitchell’s role as chairman of the Northern Ireland peace talks.

A record number of 453 individuals applied this year – a 22 percent increase over the previous record set two years ago. Nine of the 12 Mitchell Scholars this year are women.

Mitchell Scholars Meghan Davis, Marilu Duque and Genevieve Finn

(L to R) Meghan Davis, Marilu Duque and Genevieve Finn

Meghan Davis is a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she is double majoring in biological engineering and urban planning. Currently, she is conducting research on a mixed-methods approach to understand the cardiovascular disease disparities in urban Black women and interventions that can be implemented to reduce these disparities. Davis hopes to become a physician-scientist. She will study global health at Trinity College Dublin.

Marilu Duque is a first-generation American from Florida. She was raised by her Cuban refugee father and her Dominican mother. She is a graduate of New York University, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in integrated digital media in 2019. She is pursuing a master’s degree in information at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Her work is at the nexus of national security, cybersecurity, machine learning, and research. Duque served as a Naval Research Enterprise intern at the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting. LabDuque will study applied cyber security at Technological University Dublin.

Genevieve Finn recently graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, completing her English degree in 2.5 years while working part-time. She is currently a reporter at The Malibu Times, where she is working to create a Spanish-language insert in the paper’s print edition to serve Malibu’s Latinx day laborer commuter population. Finn spent most of 2019 abroad, interning with the New York Times’ Australia Bureau and GQ Australia and studying in Ghana. Finn plans a career in long-form journalism and will study creative writing at Trinity College Dublin.

Mitchell Scholars Abigail Hickman, Joy Nesbitt and Maysa Sitar

(L to R) Abigail Hickman, Joy Nesbitt and Maysa Sitar

Abigail Hickman is a senior at Columbia University in New York City, where she majors in anthropology. A member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, she is interested in Indigenous futurisms, a subfield of speculative fiction that focuses on what decolonization might look like. She serves on Columbia’s executive board of the Native American Council, where she spearheaded a successful petition for university recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Hickman hopes to work as a professor at a university with a large Indigenous student population. She will study English at the University of Limerick.

Joy Nesbitt is a senior at Harvard University studying social anthropology and music. She serves as co-president of BlackCAST, where she organizes the annual Black Playwright’s Festival, president of KeyChange, an acapella group focused on performing music from the African diaspora, and as inclusivity chair of the Harvard Black Student Association. As a Mitchell Scholar, Nesbitt will spend the coming academic year studying theatre directing at The Lir Academy of Trinity College Dublin.

Maysa Sitar is a senior at Michigan State University where she studies political science. As the MSU student body vice president for governmental affairs, she has hosted on-campus debates for local elections, doubled dorm voter registration efforts, and created easy to read, nonpartisan guides for every election. As a result, Michigan State saw a 21 percent increase in the student turnout rate for the 2018 midterm elections. She serves as the first college student on the board of directors for East Lansing’s local newspaper and is a representative on MSU’s Police Oversight Committee. Sitar will study conflict transformation and social justice at Queen’s University Belfast.

Mitchell Scholars Amelia Steinbach, Maura Welch and Selena Zhao

(L to R) Amelia Steinbach, Maura Welch and Selena Zhao

Amelia Steinbach is a senior at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where she is an Alice M. Baldwin Scholar – a prestigious four-year women’s leadership program meant to replicate the benefit of women’s colleges within a liberal arts education. A political science major, she is the primary instructor of a course that explores the history of women in the American government. Steinbach will attend Harvard Law School in the fall of 2023. She will study gender, politics, and international relations at University College Dublin.

Maura Welch is a speechwriter for Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. After graduating from George Washington University with a degree in environmental studies in 2013, she worked for The Nature Conservancy’s Islands Program on Martha’s Vineyard where she managed communications for a new citizen science program, developed educational curricula for the public school system, and coordinated sustainability projects. She will study comparative social change at Trinity College Dublin.

Selena Zhao was selected last year for a Mitchell Scholarship, but a sports-related injury resulted in her deferral to the Class of 2022. Selena graduated in May 2020 from Harvard University with a degree in government. She led several model UN organizations for Harvard, including the largest high-school Model UN conference in the South Asian circuit. Before enrolling at Harvard, Zhao was a competitive figure skater for the Canadian International Team and was the 2015 Junior National Champion. Zhao will study conflict transformation at Queen’s University Belfast.

Filed Under: Featured

RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply