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Updated: Duke student and alumna selected for George J. Mitchell Scholarship

Senior Daniel Strunk and Sanette Tanaka, Trinity '12, have been awarded the George J. Mitchell Scholarship.

Sponsored by the US-Ireland Alliance, the scholarship supports one year of study at a university in Ireland or Northern Ireland. The program covers living accommodations, tuition and an international travel stipend. A total of 12 recipients received the scholarship from a pool of nearly 300 applicants, according to a press release.

“I’m incredibly honored and thrilled,” Tanaka said. “I feel really fortunate to have this opportunity.”

A public policy and history double major, Tanaka served as the editor-in-chief of The Chronicle's 107th volume during her senior year and oversaw the launch of its redesigned website. She currently works for the Wall Street Journal as a reporter and multimedia producer for the paper's weekly luxury real estate section and plans to use the scholarship to study creative digital media at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

“I first started to become interested in digital news products when I was editor [of The Chronicle],” she said. “I’ve become even more interested since graduation.”

She said she hopes to continue her career in the field of media after receiving her degree, she said.

The scholarship will give her the opportunity to do something she did not do while at Duke—study abroad. Tanaka said that she will appreciate the chance to expand on her professional interests in an academic setting.

“I really love the idea of studying within a community of other scholars,” she said.

Strunk is also looking forward to the experience overseas.

“I’m looking forward to obviously the study, but really, the travel,” Strunk said.

A double major in political science and economics, Strunk will use the scholarship to study politics at Trinity College Dublin. He worked as the North Carolina Young Americans Manager of the Romney for President campaign and currently serves as the chief justice of the Duke Student Government Supreme Court, in addition to being a columnist for The Chronicle.

"I knew that I wanted to get an upper-level degree in comparative politics because I have a long-term interest in government work," Strunk said. "I think that a lot can be learned from studying other forms of government... Ireland is perfect for this."

Both Strunk and Tanaka expressed gratitude to friends, family and connections made at Duke.

“I’m very grateful to Duke, because they’ve been tremendous in this process,” Strunk said.

The last Duke student to receive the scholarship was Ryan McCartney, Trinity '08, who also served as editor-in-chief of The Chronicle and is now a student at the Yale School of Law. Jimmy Soni, Trinity '07, currently the managing editor of the Huffington Post and a former columnist for The Chronicle, received it the year before.


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