Wardah Athar (COL ’13) was named a recipient of the George J. Mitchell Scholarship, an award that provides for a year of graduate study at a university in Ireland, Monday.
The scholarship is named for former Sen. George J. Mitchell (D-Maine) who helped broker peace in Northern Ireland in the 1990s.
Mitchell Scholars must be between 18 and 30 years old. Georgetown has produced 14 Mitchell Scholars since the program’s inception in 2000. This year, 12 scholars were chosen from a pool of nearly 300 applicants.
Athar, a neurobiology major, will study neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin.
Athar’s academic interests reflect a shift in interests of Mitchell Scholarship applicants and recipients, according to president of the US-Ireland Alliance and founder of the scholarship Trina Vargo.
“When the program was first created, the vast majority of applicants were interested in conflict resolution and the arts. While those areas remain popular, we have also seen a steady increase in interest in the life sciences, math and finance. Irish universities are conducting cutting-edge research in these areas that is being recognized in the [United States],” Vargo wrote in a press release.
Athar expressed her gratitude and excitement about winning this award.
“I’m really humbled, really grateful and super excited to be part of such an amazing community,” she said. “The other [scholars] are incredibly intelligent and down to earth, and I’m excited to learn from them and learn from the program.”