Yale ends 2-year Marshall Scholarship drought

Four Yalies were awarded Marshall Scholarships yesterday, ending a two-year drought for Yale.

Jennifer Nou ’02, Shayna Strom ’02, Zach Kaufman ’00 and Krishanti Vignarajah ’01 won the scholarship, which allows U.S. college graduates to study for two years in Britain.

“We’re very, very delighted to see the students’ success,” said Linda De Laurentis, associate director of the Office of International Education and Fellowship Programs. “It is a very long, hard [application] process, and we are very pleased and happy for the students.”

Nou said she will pursue a master of philosophy degree at Oxford University.

“With any of these scholarship competitions it is really arbitrary, and I just feel very lucky and excited to study in England,” said Nou, a political science and economics double major in Calhoun College.

Strom praised Yale’s support during the application process.

“Yale has been helpful by allowing me to try a variety of different things,” Strom said. “The fellowship office and [Assistant Director] Mark Bauer have been tremendously generous. [And] my dean and master helped arrange practice interviews.”

Strom, an ethics, politics and economics major in Davenport College, said she plans to study urban geography at either Oxford or Cambridge University.

The British Parliament instituted the Marshall Scholarships in 1953 to commemorate the Marshall Plan, the program of financial assistance provided by the United States for the rebuilding of Europe after World War II.

Since then, the program has grown from 12 awards in 1953 to up to 40 new awards a year today.

The application process begins with a round of interviews through which Yale selects candidates to endorse. The application package includes a letter of endorsement from the University, a college transcript, four letters of recommendation, an outline of the proposed studies in the United Kingdom, and a 1,000-word personal essay. The Scholarship Commission then interviews candidates before the winners are announced.

“The competition is very erratic,” De Laurentis said. “All of these competitions have a subjective quality to them. Last year, Harvard had quite a few Marshall Scholars and the year before had none.”

Three Yalies won Marshall Scholarships in the fall of 1998, but in the last two years there were none.



CORRECTION: This article about Marshall Scholarships misquoted Linda De Laurentis as saying that Harvard had no Marshall Scholars in 1999. Harvard had six Marshall Scholars in 1999.

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