Claire Clelland, a 2005 graduate of the University of Portland, has won a highly competitive Marshall Scholarship--the United Kingdom government-financed program that provides winners with two to three years of study at the British university of their choice, and represents a monetary worth of about $60,000 for each student. The distinction of being a Marshall Scholar can be an important credential in the winners' subsequent careers.
Clelland, 23, of Gold Hill, Ore., obtained a double major from the University of Portland in biology and philosophy, and will pursue stem cell research at the University of Cambridge, England. She is interested in the 'interdisciplinary approach to the mind-brain problem', and ultimately hopes to contribute to the discovery of effective therapies for dealing with age-related illnesses. She has taken part in fund-raising bike rides and walks for both Alzheimer's and Multiple Sclerosis research.
Earlier this year, Clelland received a prestigious graduate scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship Foundation to pursue a graduate degree in neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego.
Clelland was one of 17 candidates interviewed by the Los Angeles Regional Selection Committee for the Marshall Scholarships (there are 8 such regions throughout the United States). The 17 candidates selected for interview were chosen from a field of 93 applicants to the Los Angeles Region. Of those interviewed, four were awarded Marshall Scholarships. The Marshall Scholarships were established by the British government in 1953 as a gesture of thanks to the people of the United States for the assistance received after the Second World War under the Marshall Plan. Since the program's inception, more than 1,500 young Americans have become Marshall Scholars. The scholarship program awards at least 40 Marshall Scholarships each year to exceptional young Americans studying a range of subjects.
Prominent past Marshall Scholars include United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Harvard Corporation member Nannerl Keohane (also former president of Duke University and Wellesley), Providence psychiatrist Peter Kramer ('Listening to Prozac'), Pulitzer Prize winning authors Tom Friedman of the New York Times and Dan Yergin ('The Prize'), Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh, and noted inventor Ray Dolby.
Of this year's four Marshall Scholars from the Los Angeles region, three plan to use their Marshall scholarships to study in the science and technology field in the United Kingdom which has become, alongside the United States, the world's leading source of scientific and technological innovation.