Feb. 2, 2006 • Volume 14 Number 10

England? India? Hard Choice for WST Organizer

Talk about a pleasant - albeit tough - dilemma: Less than a month after earning one prestigious graduate fellowship, Elizabeth O'Day '06 found out that she been chosen for another - but she could only accept one of them.

O'Day - who last year earned a Goldwater Scholarship - earlier this year won a Winston Churchill Scholarship, awarded to a select group of promising young American scientists. The scholarship offered O'Day the opportunity to spend a year earning her master's degree at the University of Cambridge in England.

Over the past weekend, O'Day learned she had been recommended by the US State Department for a Fulbright grant - one of the most sought-after of graduate awards - to study in India.

At press time, O'Day was considering her options.

O'Day is not the first BC student to have to make such a choice. Ari Shapiro '01 was offered a Churchill Scholarship but opted to accept a Fulbright grant to study in Scotland.

Prof. Dennis Sardella (Chemistry), who coordinates BC's participation in the Churchill program, says the scholarships are among the most competitive of graduate fellowships.

"First, there are only about 11 of them awarded nationally," he said. "Second, only those colleges and universities considered the top institutions in the country - 55 in all - can submit candidates. That includes places like Harvard, Duke, Georgetown, Carnegie-Mellon and University of Chicago.

"So it's a mark of where we've come as a university, and in our science programs in particular, that we are able to nominate Churchill candidates. And when you look at the achievements of Churchill winners, you can see that Liz is in very good company.."

-Sean Smith

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