Two students win top scholarships

Two Duke seniors have been awarded prestigious nationwide scholarships for postgraduate study in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Seniors Ryan McCartney and Lee Pearson are recipients of the George J. Mitchell Scholarship and the Marshall Scholarship, respectively.

This year was the first since 1993, however, in which a Duke student did not receive the Rhodes Scholarship, though six were selected as finalists.

"It's incredibly exciting and incredibly humbling," McCartney said. "These are the types of scholarships you apply for and never expect to get."

McCartney, editorial page editor of The Chronicle, served as editor-in-chief in 2006-2007 during the lacrosse case. He is one of 12 Mitchell Scholars chosen from more than 300 applicants.

Pearson, a double major in civil and environmental engineering and biomedical engineering, is one of 40 students selected under the Marshall Scholarship to complete two years of master's study in the United Kingdom.

He said his involvement with Engineers without Borders at Duke--for which he served as president and established two projects in Uganda-stimulated his interest in environmental engineering.

A political science and philosophy double major, McCartney will spend the next year studying political communication under an interdisciplinary journalism program at Dublin City University.

"Ireland is a really interesting place to study media right now in that its situation is different from the United States: 91 percent of adults there read the print version of the paper," McCartney said.

Pearson's tentative two-year program includes completing a master's in ecological economics at the University of Edinburgh in the first year and a master's in engineering for sustainable development at the University of Cambridge in the second year.

"I became really interested in engineering and sustainable development both in the world and the United States," he said. "These two master's programs will prepare me for either Ph.D. work in environmental engineering or... the public sector."


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