Courtesy of Yale News

Yale seniors Jasmine Stone ’20 and Catherine Lee ’20 were among the 16 national recipients of the Churchill Scholarship and the Kanders Churchill Scholarship last week.

The Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States selected the recipients, awarding them funding to support one year’s study towards a master’s degree at Churchill College at the University of Cambridge. Last year, one Yale student was awarded the Churchill Scholarship.

“It’s rare for a university to have two Churchill Scholars in the same year so this is a wonderful honor for Catherine and Jasmine,” Director of the Office of Fellowship Programs Rebekah Westphal said. “This is also a reflection of Yale’s outstanding research and other opportunities in STEM. Catherine and Jasmine have great research careers ahead of them.”

The Churchill Scholarship award goes to American students who plan on continuing their studies in the fields of mathematics, science and engineering. The award will cover full tuition, a stipend, travel costs and the chance to apply for a $2,000 research grant. The Kanders Churchill Scholarship recipient is selected from a pool of applicants focusing on public policy and funds studies toward a Cambridge Master’s in public policy. Both Yalies won the Churchill award, which went to 15 individuals, but the two grants are often lumped together, bringing the total recipients up to 16.

To qualify, applicants must be a citizen of the United States and either a senior or a recent graduate of the institutions participating in the Scholarship Program. In addition, the student must receive a letter of recommendation from the participating institution. Other participating colleges include Harvard, Dartmouth and University of California, Berkeley.

Lee and Stone were selected from a pool of 127 nominees hailing from 82 participating institutions — the highest number of nominees and institutions in the history of the award. This year, mathematics was the most popular department with 31 applicants vying for a scholarship in the field. Women represented 35 percent of the nominees and 40 percent of the winners.

Lee is completing a joint bachelor and master’s degree in mathematics at Yale. According to Lee, she is “especially interested in algebraic geometry and algebraic topology” and hopes to “pursue these interests further at Cambridge next year.” Next year, Lee plans to enroll in Part III of the Mathematical Tripos toward the Master of Advanced Study degree before continuing her studies in a mathematics Ph.D. program.

“I wrote two essays, one on my proposed program of study, and the other on my research interests and academic background,” Lee said. “I was also required to submit four letters of reference. I am exceedingly grateful to my professors, not only for writing on my behalf, but for all of the mentorship and love of learning they have imparted to me over the years.”

Lee also served as the president of the Yale Undergraduate Math Society and the editor-in-chief of Brink, an academic book review. She has received the Goldwater Scholarship, the mathematics department’s John Alan Lewis Prize for independent summer research and an honorable mention in the Van Sinderen Book Collecting Prize competition.

Stone is majoring in computer science at Yale but plans to pursue neuroscience during her time at Cambridge.

“I started neuroscience back in high school after hearing a talk by a neuroscientist at a computer science camp for girls,” Stone said. “I was fascinated by how neurons can compute such complicated things out of just binary signals. As I go into my graduate studies, I want to stay on the computational and theoretical side of neuroscience, but I want to move more toward working directly with experiments so there’s cross-talk between models and experiments.”

At Cambridge, Stone will work towards a Master of Philosophy degree in engineering with Guillaume Hennequin, a University Lecturer at Cambridge.

Stone has also won a Goldwater Scholarship and is a finalist for a 2020 Hertz Foundation fellowship.

The Churchill Scholarship was established in 1963.

Kelly Wei |