Senior wins scholarship to study at Oxford

GW senior Jessica Smithers will receive a 2000 Marshall Scholarship, which will fund her studies at a British university for two years.

Smithers plans to attend Oxford University to pursue an (Honours) bachelor’s degree in human sciences, according to a University press release.

Smithers is among 40 students from 28 universities and colleges in the U.S. to receive the British Marshall Award. The scholarships are worth about $24,000 a year, paying for living expenses, travel, books and tuition while the student studies in the United Kingdom.

Smithers will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and a minor in political science and biological sciences. An active undergraduate at GW, she has served as the president and co-founder of Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society and participated in the Student Association and the equestrian club.

Smithers interned at National Public Radio and the Office of the Vice President and volunteers at the D.C. Rape Crisis Center. She worked as a research assistant to the White House Task Force on Recycling and received a research position with the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive, according to a University press release.

After studying at Oxford for two years, Smithers plans to earn a law degree in the United States, concentrating on environmental law and public policy. The British Marshall Award was established in 1953 to thank the United States on behalf of the people of the United Kingdom for its support after World War II. The award is named for former President Truman’s Secretary of State George C. Marshall who proposed the European recovery plan to financially reconstruct Western Europe after the war.

Since its founding, more than 1,000 scholarships have been awarded to students from more than 250 U.S. universities and colleges who demonstrate maturity, self-reliance and self-discipline, according to the British Council’s Web site.

The scholarship seeks to raise the profile of the United Kingdom in the United States, particularly among its young people.

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