UO students to interview for prestigious Rhodes, Marshall scholarships

EUGENE, Ore. — (Nov. 11, 2013) — A University of Oregon student has been chosen as a finalist for the Rhodes scholarship, while two more UO students have been selected as finalists for the Marshall scholarship.

Mika Weinstein was chosen as a finalist for the Rhodes scholarship and will interview in Seattle on Nov. 22. Souvanny Miller and Maggie Witt were named finalists for the Marshall scholarship and will interview at the British Consulate-General in San Francisco on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

If awarded a Rhodes scholarship, Weinstein, a Robert D. Clark Honors College student majoring in planning, public policy and management with a minor in biology, plans to complete two, one-year master’s degrees in comparative social policy and global health sciences and hopes to work with The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food.

“What solidified my interest in the Rhodes scholarship was traveling to Oxford last spring break as a Stern Fellow and being on the campus,” said Weinstein. “Seeing what an Oxford education is definitely made me want to apply.”

The San Anselmo, Calif., native wants to help people worldwide with study about sustainable agricultural practices.

“I’m really interested in food and agricultural policy,” said Weinstein. “On the ambitious side, I would love to work with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. They do some really awesome projects internationally, with some local and national organizations involved in that work, too.”

The oldest international fellowship, the Rhodes scholarship brings outstanding students from around the world to the University of Oxford for two years of study. First awarded to Americans in 1904, 32 students from the United States are selected each year as Rhodes scholars.

The Marshall scholarship was established by the British Parliament in 1953 to honor former U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall. Scholars can pursue any field of study and the scholarship covers fees, cost-of-living expenses, books and research fees for two years.

Each year, as many as 40 Marshall scholars are selected from the United State to study at the graduate level in the United Kingdom to strengthen the relationship between Americans and the British.

Miller, an environmental studies major with a minor in geology from Vernonia, Ore., hopes a Marshall scholarship will further her plans to pursue a master’s degree in habitat restoration and conservation as part of the managing the environment program at Aberystwyth University in Aberystwyth, Wales.

“This program is part of my plan to someday create policy and maybe even do mitigation for communities around environmental policy and environmental action and conservation restoration,” said Miller.

Following completion of the one-year master’s program, Miller plans to attend law school and then pursue a career creating environmental policy.

“Something I don’t think policy makers focus on enough is science,” said Miller. “So, for me to be an effective policy maker, I need to be able to do the science. With conservation and restoration, I need to be able to explain the science and show how the science and social sciences overlap.”

If named a Marshall scholar, Witt, a Robert D. Clark Honors College student majoring in art history and English from Ashland, plans to pursue two, one-year master’s degrees – art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and English at the University of Oxford. She also plans to earn a Ph.D. and pursue a career in academia.

“I want to become a professor and my ultimate goal is [to be] university president, so this scholarship would mean everything,” said Witt. “Entering that world is incredibly difficult, so having a distinction like this means I can pursue the dreams that I want to achieve.”

The University of Oregon has produced 19 Rhodes scholars, including Andrew Shipley in 2007, and four Marshall scholars, including Josh Lupton in 2011 and Tamela Maciel in 2010.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Foley, UO media relations, 541-346-5361, mfoley@uoregon.edu

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