Seven Penn students receive scholarship to UK grad school
The Thouron Award gives students a full ride to graduate programs at British universities
February 5, 2012, 9:37 pm · Updated February 6, 2012, 11:11 pm·
Next year, seven Penn students and one recent graduate will have the chance to pursue graduate programs in the United Kingdom on the dime — or more aptly, pence — of the Thouron Award, a 51-year-old Penn-specific award designed to foster better Anglo-American relations.
On Thursday, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships announced eight winners of the scholarship, which covers tuition, living and travel expenses for one- or two-year graduate programs at British universities.
This year’s eight-person class is one of the largest accepted in over a decade, according to Carole Clarke, the award administrator for U.S. students.
Thouron accepted between three and seven students annually in the past three years.
“Their academic credentials were stellar, of course,” Clarke wrote in an email. “But more than that, they were committed to pursuing their varied interests both on an intellectual level and because of what they might do in the world.”
One of the award winners was Ava Childers, a 2010 College graduate who is currently working with Teach for America in Boston. She said she was drawn to the Thouron program during her Penn career by its ambassadorial focus.
“I was intrigued by the special relationship that Thouron is interested in fostering between the U.S. and the United Kingdom,” Childers said.
Childers praised CURF in working with her to apply even after she had left Penn. Now that she has won, Childers hopes to study archaeological heritage and museums at Cambridge University for a year before she returns to Penn for law school.
College senior David Dunning, who majored in Mathematics and English and minored in Philosophy, hopes to use his time in England to explore his interdisciplinary interests.
“The opportunity is particularly good in England,” he said of studying history and philosophy of math and science, which he hopes to pursue at Cambridge or the University of Bristol. “It really appeals to me that these programs are all integrated.”
The other winners this year were College seniors Alison Feder, Michael Masciandaro, Katie Wynbrandt and Myles Karp, as well as College and Wharton seniors Besan Abu-Joudeh and Eliana Ritts, most of whom are applying to Cambridge or Oxford. The winners were drawn from a pool of about 60 applicants, according to Clarke.
Applicants for Thouron must complete an application by Nov. 1, and then finalists attend an interview on the last Saturday of January, being notified of admission shortly afterward. The application consists of a personal statement, three recommendations, a resume and the student’s transcript.
Wynbrandt and other recipients expressed gratitude for the opportunities that the award will present.
“Penn really gives you the resources to help you succeed in whatever your field is,” she said.
This article has been updated from a prior version to reflect that Katie Wynbrandt is a College senior, not a College and Wharton senior.