Two from Stanford named Marshall Scholars and one a Mitchell Scholar
Senior Mailyn Fidler and graduate student David Wei Jia have been awarded Marshall Scholarships, while Stanford graduate Ty McCormick has won a Mitchell Scholarship.
A Stanford senior and a graduate student have been named 2014 Marshall Scholars, and an alumnus has been awarded a 2015 Mitchell Scholarship.
Mailyn Fidler, a senior majoring in science, technology and society, and David Wei Jia, a computer science doctoral student, have won Marshall Scholarships to continue their studies in Britain.
Ty McCormick, a 2010 graduate who currently works as associate editor of Foreign Policy magazine, was named a Mitchell Scholar and will continue his studies at Queen's University in Belfast.
Fidler, who is from Bloomington, Ind., is focusing her undergraduate studies on the intersection of technology and policy. She completed her first honors thesis on the governance of the "Internet of Things," interviewing experts in eight countries. Her second honors thesis investigates security implications of the global trade in "zero-day" software exploits.
Elected as a junior to Phi Beta Kappa, Fidler worked as a policy consultant at Google on Google Glass, autonomous vehicles and Internet access through atmospheric balloons. She also interned with the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. At Stanford, she founded the Computer Science & Society speaker series to encourage dialogue about policy issues within the computer science community. She was also co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of the Stanford Journal of Public Health. Fidler intends to pursue a master's degree of philosophy in international relations at Oxford to advance her efforts in international technology policy.
"I am thankful and thrilled to have the opportunity and responsibility to honor Marshall's legacy by studying at Oxford and using that experience to improve international cooperation in the digital age," Fidler said. "I am deeply grateful to all those who made this dream a reality."
Jia, who is a doctoral student in computational and systems biology, transferred as an undergraduate to Stanford from MIT in 2011. In 2013, he earned a bachelor's degree, double majoring in mathematical and computational science and mathematics and minoring in creative writing, as well as a master's degree in computer science.
At MIT, Jia founded Upkast Inc., a virtual cloud file system for which he won the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Award for Web and Information Technology. He also conducted research in MIT's Brain and Cognitive Science Institute, where he created the first version of EyeWire, a collaborative platform for creating three-dimensional views of neural connections in the brain. He later founded Symp.ly Inc., a real-time collaborative technology.
Jia is currently pursuing work in the genomics of breast cancer, supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He also writes poetry and is active in the sport of powerlifting. He hopes to pursue a master's degree of science in neuroscience at Oxford.
"I'm deeply humbled by this opportunity," said Jia, who is from Gainesville, Fla. "I would like to thank all those who have helped and supported me, and shaped who I am today, without whom, I would never have had the opportunities afforded to me. I would like to thank my parents for their incredible sacrifices that gave me the opportunity of education."
Marshall Scholarships are named for former U.S. Secretary of State and Army General George Marshall, who formulated the Marshall Plan to aid economic development after World War II. The scholarships enable intellectually distinguished young Americans to study in Britain. They are designed to help scholars gain an understanding and appreciation of contemporary Britain, to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and to act as ambassadors between the two nations. The scholarships typically cover two years of tuition, research, living and travel expenses at a British university of each student's choosing.
McCormick's work at Foreign Policy focuses on the Middle East and global economy coverage. In the course of his reporting, he has interviewed everyone from Lebanese militia leaders to former U.S. Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta.
Previously, McCormick, who is from Amherst, Mass., was a freelance correspondent in the Middle East where his coverage ranged from military trials to revolutionary rap music. A 2011 Pulitzer Center grantee, he has written for Newsweek, the New Republic, the International Herald Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, among others. He has also appeared as a commentator on Fox News and American Public Media's Marketplace Tech. He holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford and a master's degree from the University of Oxford, where he was a Clarendon Scholar. At Queen's University Belfast, he plans to study comparative ethnic conflict.
"It is a tremendous privilege to receive the Mitchell Scholarship, but also a very humbling experience," McCormick said. "More than anything, it's a reminder of how much support I've received along the way."
He added, "As a journalist, I'm thrilled to be heading to Belfast next year. I can think of no better place to dive into the study of comparative ethnic conflict."
Mitchell Scholarships are named for former Maine senator George Mitchell in honor of Mitchell's contributions to the Northern Ireland peace process. Each year, 12 scholars are selected by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance on the basis of academic distinction, leadership and service. Recipients spend a year of post-graduate study at institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland.