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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University January 20, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 18
Ryan Hanley, Civil Engineering Student, Named Mitchell Scholar

Ryan Hanley

By Amy Cowles

Ryan Hanley, a senior from Hickory, N.C., has been selected as a George J. Mitchell Scholar.

Hanley, 22, is one of 12 Mitchell Scholars chosen nationwide for a year of graduate study at universities in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Scholars are selected based on their academic record, leadership and community service.

The Mitchell Scholarship, administered by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., is named in honor of the U.S. senator who played a pivotal leadership role in the Northern Ireland peace process. Hanley will pursue a master's degree in civil engineering at Trinity College in Dublin. He expects to earn a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins in the same field in May.

Among Hanley's extracurricular accomplishments is the creation of Hopkins 4K for Cancer, an annual cross-country bike trek dedicated to uniting communities across the country in the fight against cancer by spreading awareness, raising funds and fostering hope. Organized by Hanley and other Johns Hopkins students, the group is now planning its third summertime journey. The effort was inspired by the memory of Hanley's father, John Hanley, who died of cancer. Hanley hopes one day to incorporate other colleges into the program.

An accomplished athlete, Ryan was a starting player on a Johns Hopkins varsity soccer team that has been ranked as high as sixth in NCAA Division III. Earlier this year, he spent a semester studying in Prague and played there for the Charles University soccer team. Launched in 1998, the Mitchell Scholarships are among the most prestigious fellowships in the United States, drawing the same candidates as the long-established Rhodes, Marshall and Fulbright scholarships. This year's Mitchell competition for 12 awards had 245 applicants from 166 colleges and universities across the country.

The Mitchell Scholarship program was inaugurated in 1998 with an endowment established by the government of Ireland. Other significant financial support is provided by the Northern Ireland executive and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Automsoft, Becton Dickinson, Bombardier Aerospace (NI) Foundation, Cross Atlantic Capital Partners, Crucible and the McDonnell Charitable Foundation also provide funding assistance.


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