Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship
Suzanna Brickman, a Johns Hopkins University senior from Great Neck, N.Y., has been selected as one of the first 50 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholars, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced today.
The scholars, ages 19 to 50, receive up to $50,000 a year for up to six years to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field at an accredited university. Brickman will receive a degree in political science later this month and plans to further her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is one of seven Johns Hopkins University students chosen for this inaugural award.
Brickman, 21, has had a passion for politics since childhood, inspired by her grandmothers: one she describes as "the paradigm of a New York City progressive" and the other a civil rights activist who straddled two worlds, "her home, in which Spanish was the primary language, and the American culture into which she had been born."
Several recent experiences have influenced Brickman's career goals. As an intern in the U.S. Senate, she spent many afternoons in the chamber's gallery, viewing the American political system at work. During her sophomore year abroad in London, she toured Parliament and saw the House of Commons in session. Brickman says she learned that "similar problems confront different governments" and "understood even more clearly the urgency of international solutions."
As a Latin American studies minor, Brickman has also made two academic visits to Cuba, trips she calls "profoundly influential." The trips made her realize that she would like to "enter the world of politics through academic and diplomatic work with United States policy toward the region."
While at Johns Hopkins, she has been involved in a variety of community activities, including mentoring an inner-city adolescent girl and volunteering for a community kitchen that distributes food to AIDS patients. She has also been a political campaign volunteer.
The events of Sept. 11 and the fighting in Afghanistan have reinforced Brickman's interest in earning a graduate degree in international studies and her belief that "we cannot expect significant international communication without broad understanding of history and international relations theory." While her undergraduate education has given her a firm foundation in those areas, Brickman says she now needs to "build on that base and widen my lens, expand my understanding and develop an expertise."
Brickman is a member of several honor societies, including Pi Sigma Alpha, the Golden Key Society, the Johns Hopkins Blue Key Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She was also a member of the Presidential Classroom for Young American Scholars, and chair of the Student-Alumni Task Force.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation identifies young people nationwide who have shown unique overall excellence, both in academic endeavors and in extracurricular activities. The purpose of the foundation is to reward young men and women for unusual intelligence, application, deportment, and character. The first class of recipients reflects a wide diversity of interests, all aiming to be the best in their fields.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation established by its namesake to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential. Cooke was a businessman, sportsman, and philanthropist who owned the Toronto Maple Leaf baseball club, the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, and the Washington Redskins football team. He also owned the Chrysler Building in New York City, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and cable television stations. When Cooke died in 1997, he left most of his fortune to the foundation, which has more than $500 million in assets.
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