Students win fellowships

Over Thanksgiving break, six Yalies found out they will be spending next year in the UK or Ireland.

Two Yalies were named Rhodes scholars, three Marshall scholars and one a Mitchell scholar this year. The Rhodes and Marshall scholarships provide money for American students to spend time studying in the UK, while the Mitchell scholarship does the same for Ireland.

Alice Baumgartner ’10 and William Zeng ’11 were among 32 American students and around 80 students worldwide awarded Rhodes Scholarships this year. This year, 837 students were endorsed for the fellowship by 309 different American colleges and universities, according to a Nov. 20 press release. The Rhodes funds two or three years of study at the University of Oxford.

Baumgartner, who was in Berkeley College and majored in history, hopes to pursue developmental studies. She is currently working in a free clinic called “Centro Medico Humberto Parra” in the Eastern lowlands of Bolivia on Yale’s Gordon Grand fellowship.

Baumgartner said the application process for the Rhodes was at times a bumpy ride — during the cocktail party that is part of the application process, she introduced herself twice to the same judge and nearly spilled coffee on another candidate.

Zeng, also in Berkeley, is a physics major and plans to study mathematics and computer science in preparation for a subsequent PhD in Physics. Within his major, he is especially interested in the branch of quantum information, which he said is a more interdisciplinary field compared to other branches of physics. He will work in the Oxford computing lab with researchers Samson Abramsky and Bob Coecke. Zeng is a member of the lightweight crew team and said he is looking forward to continuing to row at Oxford.

Yale’s three Marshall scholars are Elizabeth Deutsch ’11, Andrew Mangino ’09, a former editor-in-chief of the News, and Mari Oye ’11. Up to 40 students are selected annually for the Marshall scholarship, which sends American students to study for a graduate degree in the UK for up to two years at universities of their choosing.

Deutsch, a Morsel double majoring in English and economics, plans to study medieval and renaissance literature for one year at Cambridge and then economic history at the London School of Economics the following year. Mangino was in Branford College and majored in political science and plans to study comparative education at Oxford. Oye, a political science and international studies major in Timothy Dwight, hopes to get a masters in violence, conflict and development at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

Deutsch said her “unconventional” combination of majors coincides with her interest in book history and have led her to split her time in the UK between Cambridge and the London School of Economics. At Yale, she is also on the board of the Women’s Center and a FOOT leader.

Mangino, who is currently working as a deputy speechwriter for Attorney General Eric Holder, said he will pursue his interest in international education at Oxford, adding that he wants to examine public school systems around the world, starting with those in the UK.

“My vision is that this experience will allow me to search the world for the best, most creative, most engaging schools, teachers, curricula and systems and to share those stories that I find and help implement the solutions that I find here in the USA,” he said.

Mangino was accepted to Yale Law School, but deferred and plans to begin in 2013.

Oye applied to the Marshall scholarship over the summer from an internet café in Tajikistan, where she was conducting research for her senior essay about national identity. She said she first became interested in the region in high school when she began working with Arghand, an NGO in Kandahar, Afghanistan where Afghans make high-end bath and beauty products from local pomegranate, rose and almond crops. Oye said she is interested in the ways that poverty and violence are related and the best ways to carry out post-conflict reconstruction.

Jessica Moldovan ’11 won the Mitchell scholarship, which was awarded to 12 American students who will study for one year at universities of their choosing in Ireland.

Moldovan is a history major in Saybrook College and will pursue a degree in gender and women’s studies at Trinity College, Dublin. Moldovan said she is particularly interested in reproductive rights. She has interned in the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project and co-directs Yale’s Community Health Educators.

Last year, two Yalies received Rhodes Scholarships and two won Marshall Scholarships. No Yale students were awarded the Mitchell Scholarship in 2009.

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