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Four Stanford alums named Marshall Scholars; one wins Mitchell

Five Stanford alumni will be heading to universities in London, and Limerick, Ireland, for graduate study programs this fall.

BY KATHLEEN J. SULLIVAN

This fall, four Stanford alumni will begin graduate studies at English universities – including Oxford, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – as Marshall Scholars.

Another alumnus will begin graduate studies at Ireland's University of Limerick under a George J. Mitchell Scholarship.

The 2010 Marshall Scholars from Stanford are Andrew Baratz Ehrich, '09; Anne Kalt, '08; Emily Warren, '08; and Michael Wilkerson, '09.

The four alumni are among the 35 Americans selected this year for the graduate study scholarships, which typically cover two years of tuition, research, living and travel expenses at a British university of the students' choice.

The British Parliament created the Marshall Scholarships in 1953 to commemorate the humane ideas of the Marshall Plan, which was enacted by the United States to help rebuild Europe after World War II.

The 2010 Mitchell Scholar from Stanford is Fagan Harris, '09.

Harris was one of 12 Mitchell Scholars chosen for the program, which provides one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by universities in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The scholarship provides tuition, housing, a living- expenses stipend and an international travel stipend.

It was named to honor former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell's pivotal contribution to the peace process in Northern Ireland. The scholarship was designed to introduce and connect future American leaders to the island of Ireland while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership and a commitment to public service and community.

Marshall Scholars

Andrew Baratz Ehrich, 22, of Valley Village, Calif. (Los Angeles County), plans to study city design and social science at the London School of Economics and Political Science during his first year as a Marshall Scholar. During his second year, he plans to study public management and governance.

Andrew Baratz Ehrich

Ehrich earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Stanford in 2009.  He also received the Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for his honors thesis in environmental science, technology and policy, titled "Digging Deeply, Seeing Broadly: An Integrated Design Process for the Built Environment." He was one of four seniors who received the David M. Kennedy Honors Thesis Prize.

At Stanford, Ehrich worked for a year and a half as a researcher at the Center for Integrated Facility Engineering. He also served one year as the president of Jewish Leadership Council of Hillel at Stanford.

Currently, he is working at the Surdna Foundation in New York City as a Tom Ford Fellow in Philanthropy through the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford. Surdna fosters just and sustainable communities by making grants in the areas of sustainable environments, strong local economies and thriving cultures.

Ehrich is working in the foundation's Sustainable Environments Program, focusing primarily on the areas of sustainable transport systems, the green economy and climate change policy. Working in conjunction with the director and officer overseeing the program, he is evaluating and strengthening grants and developing grant-making strategies.

Anne Kalt, 26, of Boston, plans to study health policy, planning and financing under a joint program offered by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics and Political Science during her first year as a Marshall Scholar. During her second year, she plans to study public health in developing countries at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Anne Kalt

Kalt, who earned a bachelor's degree in human biology from Stanford in 2008, said the training will support her future goal: to become a pediatrician who helps develop policies and programming in the field of global child and maternal  health.

Kalt spent the summer before her senior year in Zambia, where she worked in a refugee camp with FORGE, a U.S.-based nonprofit group that helps develop the skills and capacities of displaced people living in refugee camps to help them rebuild their post-conflict communities when they return home.

In the camp, Kalt implemented a women's health outreach and education program, which offered health seminars for 400 Congolese women, and worked with female community leaders and fellow volunteers to co-found a center to offer ongoing services for women.

During her senior year at Stanford, Kalt served as managing director of FACE AIDS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing and inspiring students to fight AIDS in Africa. She worked with the group, which was founded by Stanford students, as it became one of the most important student efforts in the United States directed at the disease.

After graduating, Kalt spent a year in Rwanda working with Partners in Health, a leading global health organization, and FACE AIDS as the Africa program director. She helped develop and manage a microfinance program serving HIV-positive patients and directed a program that created leadership, creative arts and psychosocial support activities for HIV-affected Rwandan youth.

Currently, Kalt is studying for a diploma in premedical studies in the Health Careers Program at the Harvard University Extension School.

Emily Warren, 23, of San Francisco, plans to pursue two degrees as a Marshall Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science: a master's degree in economics and a master's degree in China in comparative perspective.

Emily Warren

After completing the degrees, Warren hopes to help apply economic techniques and a knowledge of China to U.S. foreign policy decision-making.

Warren earned a bachelor's degree in economics, with a minor in political science, from Stanford in 2008. Her honor's thesis, "What Does Migration Mean for Children Left Behind? Educational Evidence from Guatemala," won a 2008 Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research.

Warren had secured more than $10,000 in grants to design and carry out the Spanish-language survey in Guatemala in the summer of 2007. She hired a 30-person team to administer the survey across the rural highlands. While her colleagues collected data on 5,000 people, she conducted interviews.

Warren is currently working at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which provides grants to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. She joined the foundation as a Stanford senior and is a special projects fellow at the Menlo Park-based foundation.

Over the last two years, Warren has designed and built and is now managing the foundation's Nuclear Security Initiative. The multimillion-dollar grant-making initiative provides resources to domestic and international nonprofits that are working to reform international nuclear weapons policies and significantly reduce the worldwide risk of a state or terrorist nuclear attack.

Focused on development work as an undergraduate, Warren says her current work on nuclear security issues has allowed her to see the interconnections among poverty relief and national security policies. She hopes to build a career working on U.S. foreign policy issues that span both disciplines.

Michael Wilkerson, 22, of Denver, plans to study comparative government at Oxford University. Eventually, he hopes to pursue a career that bridges three fields: academia, policymaking and journalism.

Michael Wilkerson

Currently, Wilkerson is a Fulbright Scholar living in Kampala, Uganda, where he is studying the role the country's media plays in public policy, to better understand how the press contributes to economic and democratic growth.

He is working with The Independent, a weekly news magazine, and two newspapers, The Daily Monitor and The Observer, as well as with Professor George Lugalambi, chair of the Mass Communications Department at Makerere University, the country's flagship university.

He also is working with Fanaka Kwa Wote, an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank in Uganda that conducts and facilitates research in four areas: economic and political development, regional security and cooperation, public services and human rights, and history and culture.

In his Marshall application, Wilkerson said the undergraduate research he conducted in Uganda – about the role of the media in Uganda's still-struggling democracy – showed that despite many courageous attempts to hold the government accountable, Uganda's media were not having the pro-democracy or anti-corruption impact that conventional wisdom implied ought to occur.

As a Stanford undergraduate, Wilkerson spent two summers working as a journalist – at a daily newspaper and at a news magazine – in Kampala, Uganda, under an editor who had earlier been jailed by the government for criticizing the president.

At Stanford, Wilkerson worked as a columnist for the Stanford Daily and served on the board of directors of the Stanford Association for International Development, a student group that organizes events related to development issues and helps students interested in international internship and career opportunities. During his senior year, he worked as a resident assistant in a freshman residence hall.

Wilkerson, who earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Stanford in 2009, said his goal is to use the data he collects in Uganda as a starting point for further independent research as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford.

Mitchell Scholar

Fagan Harris, 22, of Stanford, plans to study applied social research at the University of Limerick, located in southwest Ireland along the River Shannon.

Fagan Harris

Harris, who grew up in Baltimore, wrote in his Mitchell Scholar application that early challenges with youth violence and community apathy served as a catalyst for change in his life.

Harris, who earned bachelor's degrees in American studies and in political science from Stanford in 2009, received the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education during last year's Commencement.

He was cited "for his role in developing the group Students Taking on Poverty to serve the broader community beyond Stanford" and "for his thoughtful service as a resident assistant in Branner Hall for two years." The award also honored "his contributions to the university as vice president of the Associated Students of Stanford University and chief architect of its Student Service Division, as well as his leadership on the issue of public financing for student campaigns."

In his Mitchell Scholar application, Harris, who plans to pursue a career in public service, wrote that earning a master's degree in applied social research would train him to better evaluate and incorporate the social sciences in interventions targeting the nation's disadvantaged communities and its youth.

Currently, Harris is the director of the Education Fellows Program at College Track, an after-school college preparatory program. Harris works in the group's Oakland office, where he is spearheading an effort to design and implement a fellowship and internship placement program.

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