Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Three Georgetown Graduate Students Named Newmark Scholars

The Craig Newmark Veterans Scholarship Fund awarded three Georgetown University graduate students with Newmark Scholarships intended to deepen veterans’ impact on public policy.

Each year, the fund names up to nine Newmark Scholars, all of whom are active-duty service members, veterans or military-connected students, to support their policy education at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy. The foundation selected Alexandra Dutch Garland (MPM ’25), Qifan Lin (MPP ’25) and Travis Thornton (MPM ’25) for the 2023-24 academic year. 

Craig Newmark Philanthropies, a California-based grantmaking organization that Craigslist founder Craig Newmark created, funds the Newmark Scholarships, which award winners with $20,000 to use towards their tuition. 

Dutch is in the process of receiving her Master’s in Policy Management and said that she has worked with the Federal Reserve for 10 years, bringing an economic perspective to the McCourt community.

“I was extremely grateful to receive the scholarship,” Dutch told The Hoya. “It made going to Georgetown a lot easier for me.” 

Newmark Scholars partner with Newmark’s philanthropy organization, which funds veterans and their families as well as journalists and cybersecurity experts, for networking purposes and to help promote the organization’s mission of protecting those who protect the United States. 

Dutch said that she and her husband, a current U.S. Army combat medic, talked about potentially working with nonprofits for military veterans and spouses in the future. Dutch said she is already looking into possibly creating a non-profit with Newmark’s work.

“I’ve done a lot of research prior to interviewing Craig on the two organizations that he works for, Blue Star Families and the Bob Woodruff Foundation,” Dutch said. “So I’m going through the process of learning what they are working on to see if it would be something that might tie in well with a potential nonprofit.”

Three students from Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy were selected for the Newmark scholarship, awarded by Cragislist founder Craig Newmark.

Lin, who received a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunication and media studies at Pennsylvania State University, previously worked as a police officer and is now earning a Master’s in Public Policy.

Lin said he is grateful for McCourt’s academic and community environments, which the Newmark Scholarship made financially feasible.

“I’m very honored and thrilled,” Lin told The Hoya. “My initial instinct was that now I can go to grad school. Without the generosity from the foundation, I would not be able to afford it.”

Thornton served seven years as a Navy nuclear surface warfare officer and is now a lead associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, a technological consulting firm. Thornton is now working toward his Master’s in Policy Management at the McCourt School.

Thorton said that he wants to pursue this degree as a way to make an impact on people’s lives, more than for his career.

“The whole time I’ve been in the cohort I have been thinking about how I can leverage this experience to actually have an impact on policy,” Thornton told The Hoya. “Specific policy that I’m really concerned about is disinformation and misinformation, especially on social media, and how it impacts democracy, how it impacts how everybody thinks about the news.”

Thornton said that he has been speaking to Newmark about disinformation and social media policy issues and is interested in working with him in the future. 

“I got to talk to Craig Newmark about this, particularly social media and algorithms, last week when we met, and he has an interest in this as well,” Thornton said. “It’s a difficult subject matter. He warned me about that, that it’s difficult, for different reasons. But I’m hoping that with a scholarship, I can pursue policy that he thinks is meaningful as well.”

Thornton said that between the G.I. Bill, which funds veterans’ college education after their service, and the Craig Newmark scholarship, graduate school is now more affordable and accessible for him. 

Thornton said that he hopes to use his graduate education to work on veterans’ issues in the future.

“This program, and the collaboration I’ve had thus far within the program, leads me to believe I’ll be able to write something that’s meaningful,” Thornton said. “Not just writing a capstone just to get it done with, but that I could actually turn around and promote on Capitol Hill.”

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