Jessica Ashooh '06 learned last week that she has won a 2006 Marshall Scholarship. The international relations concentrator will use the prestigious award to continue her studies in the field by pursuing a master of philosophy degree - the British equivalent of a master's degree - at the University of Oxford.
Ashooh is particularly interested in Middle East relations and has spent a significant amount of time in the region. In addition to studying Arabic in Tunisia for a summer, she studied abroad during her junior year at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon as the country experienced political upheaval following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. While in Lebanon, she participated in pro-democracy protests and served as a monitor in the country's elections.
Ashooh praised University administrators for the assistance they gave her as she applied for the scholarship. "Brown is wonderfully supportive throughout the entire process," she said.
Throughout the semester, Ashooh, who also reached the last round of competition for a Rhodes Scholarship, met with deans about twice a week to prepare her applications. Mock interviews held at Brown in advance of her official interviews were also extremely helpful, she said.
But the process was not easy. "It was like taking another class," she said.
At Brown, Ashooh is a cellist with the Brown University Orchestra, vice president of the Brown Lecture Board, an active member of Model United Nations and four-time chair of Brown's Model U.N. program for high school students.
Ashooh has also interned at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C., and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
The Marshall Scholarships were created by the British government in gratitude for the United States' postwar reconstruction assistance. The scholarships are awarded each year to about 40 U.S. college graduates to allow them to study for two years at any university in the United Kingdom.
Kingston Reif '05 and Ryan Roark '05 received Marshall Scholarships last year.
- Eric Beck