Three Yalies — Erika Lynn-Green ’18, Amanda Royka ’18 and David Shimer ’18 — received the prestigious Marshall Scholarship and will begin studying in the United Kingdom next fall.
The Marshall Scholarship began in 1953 as a way for the U.K. to express its gratitude to the U.S. for helping the British Isles under the Marshall plan after World War II. The program, funded by the British government, offers selected U.S. citizens a scholarship to study in the U.K. This year, 43 students received the award, and Yale outperformed both Harvard and Princeton, which each had only one scholar selected.
A pre-med English major, Lynn-Green is interested in bioethics, disparities in health and health care, and health policy, which she pursued through her work on noncommunicable diseases at Yale School of Medicine’s Equity Research and Innovation Center. As advocacy chair of the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project, Lynn-Green helped form the founding team of the Yale Student Run Youth Shelter. For the next two years, she will pursue degrees in global health systems theory and policy as well as development and global health at Queen Mary University of London.
Lynn-Green said she decided to apply for the award because after doing the Yale in London program the summer after her sophomore year, she “fell in love with the city but also the pace of education in the United Kingdom.” She added that she wanted to return to the U.K. to study for two years prior to going to medical school.
“I’m thrilled [because] I really loved my experience studying in the U.K. previously,” she said.
Lynn-Green said that she chose Queen Mary because it has great programs tailored to her interests and is known as a social justice-oriented university. She added that the coursework for the two degrees will allow her to study social determinants of health; health as a means of social, racial and reproductive justice; and economics and systems theory.
After completing her degrees, Lynn-Green said, she intends to come back to the U.S. to attend medical school and ultimately practice medicine in the country.
Royka, another winner, is majoring in cognitive science. Her studies have focused on animal cognition, and in the U.K. she plans to study evolutionary biology, also at Queen Mary University of London, and comparative psychology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
“Some of the researchers that I was most excited to work with were in universities in the U.K., so Marshall was the best opportunity to allow me to go and participate in that exciting research,” she said.
Royka said she was excited to study evolutionary biology, a field she did not explore extensively during her time at Yale. She added that the evolutionary biology degree includes a large research project and that she is excited to possibly work with professor Nathan Emery, who studies corvic cognition — focusing on questions related to ravens, crows and other such birds and how they demonstrate behaviors previously thought only to exist in primates. For her second degree in comparative psychology, Royka said, she is excited about being able to apply her evolutionary biology knowledge to studies of animal cognition and “more psychologically oriented research.”
After finishing her studies as a Marshall Scholar, Royka hopes to do research and, in the long run, enter a Ph.D. program and receive a professorship.
Royka and Lynn-Green have been suitemates since their first year at Yale. Lynn-Green said the two students are excited to have the opportunity to continue studying and living together, since both will be attending the same university for the first year.
“We shared a bunk bed freshman year, … and we were joking that it was the dream that we were just going to live together forever,” Lynn-Green said.
David Shimer, the third winner and a former editor in chief of the News, will graduate from Yale with a dual bachelor’s and master’s degree in history. This summer, he reported from the Berlin bureau of The New York Times and during the 2016 election cycle, he interned for Hillary Clinton’s campaign policy and general election debate preparation team. Shimer, who received a Truman Scholarship last spring, will study international relations at the University of Oxford.
“I feel so lucky and grateful, especially to the people who helped me — my family, my recommenders, my friends — make it through this monthslong process,” Shimer said.
More than 1,900 students have received the Marshall Scholarship since the program was founded.
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