Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1997-1998 index

Distributed December 19, 1997
Contact: Linda Mahdesian

Scholars and future leaders

Two Brown University students receive British Marshall Scholarships

Two Brown University students are among 38 Americans selected this year to receive British Marshall Scholarships for study in Britain next year.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- British Ambassador Christopher Meyer recently announced the names of the 38 young Americans to be awarded British Marshall Scholarships for study at a university in Britain next year. Two of those students are from Brown University.

Sylvia Sellers-Garcia, of Lexington, Mass., a talented writer who grew up bilingual and spent her early childhood in Costa Rica, plans to pursue Latin American studies at the University of Oxford. A comparative literature concentrator and member of the Class of 1998, Sellers-Garcia is an active volunteer in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program in Providence and in Brown's Writing Fellows program. Her reaction to receiving the scholarship: "For a long time I thought it was a mistake they hadn't realized yet. Now I'm really excited."

Justin Driver, of Washington, D.C., is a 1997 Brown graduate now pursuing a master of arts in teaching at Duke University. While at Brown he studied public policy and received several fellowships and prizes for both academic work and campus leadership, including the prestigious Royce Fellowship for his study of African-American male academies. He will be studying modern history at the University of Oxford and plans a career in teaching. Driver said he was "incredibly excited. It's an honor to have the opportunity to go study in England in the next two years. It will make me a better teacher. I want to understand the international context of American history, especially the links between British and U.S. history- and bring that perspective to the students."

More than 1,000 young Americans have been awarded Marshall Scholarships since the program's inception 44 years ago. Past British Marshall Scholars include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer; U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt; Duke University President (and former Wellesley President) Nannerl Keohane; Brown psychiatry professor and best-selling author Peter Kramer (Listening to Prozac and Should You Leave?); and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Tom Friedman of the New York Times and Dan Yergin (The Prize).

In addition to intellectual distinction, Marshall selectors look for individuals who are likely to become leaders in their field and make a contribution to society. The exceptional academic achievements of this year's scholars are matched by their commitment to public service, artistic talent and triumph over personal handicaps.