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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University December 4, 2006 | Vol. 36 No. 13
Two Homewood Seniors Collect Marshall, Mitchell Scholarships

By Amy Lunday

Two Krieger School seniors, Hari Prabhakar and Sarah David, will be studying in the United Kingdom next year, having earned two of the top honors in academia: a Marshall Scholarship and a George J. Mitchell Scholarship.

Hari Prabhakar
Photo by Will Kirk / HIPS

With his Marshall Scholarship, Prabhakar, 21, will pursue two master's degrees, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and at Oxford, with an emphasis in health systems management and health services research. The Mitchell Scholarship will offer David, 21, the opportunity to pursue a master's degree in ethnic conflict at Queens University in Belfast. Each was chosen from a nationwide pool of applicants.

"This is a happy day for Hopkins, a reminder that our students can go toe-to-toe with America's best — and win," said John Bader, associate dean for academic programs and advising in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, who helps all applicants prepare for their interviews in prestigious competitions. "These extraordinary young people embody the university's best tradition: selfless devotion to public service. I greatly enjoyed working with them, as well as our other applicants, and could not be more pleased with this news."

Prabhakar, who is double majoring in public health studies and the Writing Seminars, is one of 43 Marshall Scholarship recipients this year who have the chance to study at any British university. The scholarship pays university fees and living expenses, as well as travel to and from the United States. It is typically a grant covering two academic years, with the possibility of extending the scholarship for a third year. Recipients must be U.S. citizens no older than 25 with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.70 after freshman year.

A resident of Dallas, Prabhakar is the only student from a Maryland college or university to receive a Marshall Scholarship this year. In February 2006, USA Today named him one of 20 undergraduates nationwide on its annual All-USA College Academic First Team. Among his many extracurricular activities, his most notable achievement is establishing the Tribal India Health Foundation, which provides health assistance to a neglected segment of India's population. Prabhakar has collected more than $16,500 in research fellowships through several Johns Hopkins programs to learn more about tribal health issues, and has sought the expertise of public health and blood disease specialists at Johns Hopkins. He has made many visits to the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where he founded a center to provide free sickle cell disease screening, treatment and education at a local tribal hospital.

"Indeed, I am excited at the prospect of augmenting my international health experience at an institution that places heavy emphasis on public health concerns that plague the most impoverished nations," said Prabhakar, who will be gaining an MSc in health systems management at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an MSc in health systems management at Oxford's Health Services Research Unit. He plans to attend medical school in the future. "A combination of clinical training and health systems management experience will provide me with the opportunity to help better the quality of medical care for populations domestically and abroad," he said.

Sarah David
Photo by Will Kirk / HIPS

Sarah David, a political science major, is one of 12 George J. Mitchell Scholars to earn a year of graduate study at universities in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Scholars are selected based on their academic record, leadership and community service. Administered by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., the scholarship is named in honor of the U.S. senator who played a pivotal leadership role in the Northern Ireland peace process.

David, a resident of Pikesville, Md., is the daughter of Steven David, director of the Political Science Department's International Studies Program. A 2006 Truman Scholar and a 2005 recipient of a Boren Scholarship, she is passionate about politics and issues of national security, both on campus and beyond. She was a campaign manager for Bobby Zirkin, who was recently elected to the State Senate.

David has a deep commitment to public service and civic engagement and for the past several years has actively shared this passion by teaching international relations and civics to Baltimore City public high school students. She developed and organized the Securing the Future Conference, which brought high school students from throughout the Baltimore area to the Homewood campus to learn about homeland security issues. An active Democrat, she was elected to participate in a live televised student debate on national security during the 2004 vice presidential debates and was interviewed on Hardball with Chris Matthews. David studies Arabic and Hebrew and for six years studied Japanese.

"As the United States continues to face the threats posed by global terrorism, much of which stems from the Middle East, national security policy will require more individuals who speak the languages, literally and figuratively, of both civilizations so as to lessen the growing distrust and hatred between them," David said. "I ultimately intend to serve as an elected official or a senior adviser in order to help the United States develop a more enlightened approach to the Arab world."


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