Dartmouth students named Marshall, Schwarzman scholars

by Emily Zhang | 1/9/20 2:15am

Delia Friel ’20, Danny Li ’19 and Colleen O’Connor ’19 have been named as 2021 Schwarzman Scholars to study global affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and Sarah Pearl ’20 has been named a Marshall Scholar to pursue two one-year master programs at the University of Reading and University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The Marshall Scholarship — one of the most competitive post-graduate awards — funds two years of graduate studies in the United Kingdom. This year, 46 scholars of over 1,000 applicants were selected from the United States to participate in this program.

Pearl, an environmental studies and physics double major, said that she is passionate about the intersection between climate change and technology. As a Marshall Scholar, she said she plans to complete a one-year meteorology program at Reading and an environmental change and management program at Oxford. 

“I think right now the UK plays a prominent role in international climate change mitigation and policy,” Pearl said. “Also, I love having adventures.”

At Dartmouth, Pearl has volunteered with the Growing Change program through the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact, where she teaches students about the environment, plants and animals at an elementary school in Vermont. Last summer, she conducted climate research in Alaska at the International Arctic Research Center. For her thesis, she is researching solar geoengineering, which, according to Pearl, attempts to offset temperatures by reflecting solar energy back into space. 

 “It is a scientific, technological problem, but also involves government, ethical and philosophical issues,” Pearl said.

Regarding her future goals, Pearl said she sees many different opportunities, including continuing her research in academia or doing public works in the climate change arena. 

“The Marshall program will help me orient myself and get a sense of what my next steps are,” Pearl said. “Building a network of people outside of the U.S. will open international opportunities.”

The Schwarzman scholarship funds a one-year master program of global affairs at the Schwarzman College of Tsinghua University, with courses ranging from leadership to global affairs to Chinese development. For the Class of 2021, 145 Schwarzman Scholars were selected from more than 4,700 applicants and includes students from 41 countries and 108 universities. 

Friel, a biomedical engineering major and Spanish minor, said that she is interested in studying how social policy can promote scientific research and health care services. She said that she looks forward to the Schwarzman scholarship program as an opportunity to continue learning after graduating from Dartmouth and building networks with peers and professors.

“It will enable me to learn from multiple perspectives with people from different backgrounds,” Friel said. “It will also help open me to jobs, companies or business sectors that I didn’t even know existed and partner me with Chinese counterparts throughout my career.” 

An engineering exchange program in Hong Kong Friel completed during her junior year sparked her interest in studying in China. She said that the program allowed her to explore how people can create technological solutions to global health issues applicable to middle- and low-income regions. 

After the Schwarzman Scholar program, Friel is planning on pursing a MD-PhD degree. She is also considering doing public work in the global health sphere. 

“I think this program will build me a global understanding and give me connections, knowledge and experience through classroom experience, internships and traveling,” she said.

Li, who was a government major at Dartmouth, currently works in a strategic advising consultation group, where he specializes in macroeconomic analysis related to geopolitical trends in Asia. He said he sees the scholarship as an opportunity to expand his understanding of China. 

“It is an opportunity to really deeply understand the political background of China, especially in Beijing, the capital of China,” Li said. “I could look into the political and economic security through Schwarzman as well as the external environment of Beijing.” 

Li said his interest in international relations started from the course GOVT 5, “International Politics,” which he took during his freshman year. He then participated in international relations-based internships through the Dickey Center and the Rockefeller Center, as well as a Domestic Study Program in Washington D.C. He also founded the Alexander Hamilton Society at Dartmouth, which invites guest speakers and college professors to debate about foreign policy.

Li said he is looking forward to gaining work experience in China and bringing his new understanding back to his work.

O’Connor, an Asian & Middle Eastern studies modified with economics major and human-centered design minor, currently works as an associate in EY-Parthenon. At Dartmouth, she was the undergraduate advisor at the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, co-president of Women in Business and a Stamps Scholar. She also graduated as salutatorian and a class marshal. O’Connor was unable to be reached for comment by press time. 

“[The Schwarzman and the Marshall] are wonderful opportunities to network and to learn more about the world,” said assistant dean of faculty for fellowship advising Jessica Smolin. “There is the value of being part of an international community, and we are sending students who are going to take full advantage of these opportunities.”

Smolin also advised Dartmouth students to actively learn more about the variety of fellowship opportunities through the fellowship advising office.