2018 Scholars S-Z

Joy Schaeffer

US University: United States Military Academy

A cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Joy Schaeffer studies International History and French while training to commission as an Army officer. She plans to write her senior thesis on Franco-American relations concerning Indochina during World War Two. Joy is a Company Commander, sings alto in the West Point Glee Club, and is the leader of the Officer’s Christian Fellowship band. She is also an avid runner and has run two marathons. Joy looks forward to becoming a military intelligence officer and plans to use her Marshall Scholarship to study the role of the international intelligence community in fighting and preventing human trafficking.

Nick Schwartz

US University: MIT

Nick Schwartz, from Memphis, Tennessee, is a senior studying Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He has worked on a variety of projects during his time, ranging from prosthetics for the developing world to building the award winning MIT Hyperloop Pod. However, this past summer, he found his academic passion in fusion energy. Outside of classes, Nick has been on the Co-ordinator Board for Camp Kesem, a camp for children whose parents have been affect by cancer, for three years. As a Marshall Scholar, Nick will earn a Master’s in Physics at Imperial College London, followed by a research project in fusion energy during his second year. 

David Shimer

US University: Yale University

David Shimer of Chappaqua, New York, will graduate from Yale University with a BA and MA in History and Phi Beta Kappa honours. He was the Editor In Chief of the Yale Daily News, America's oldest college daily newspaper, and reported from the Berlin bureau of The New York Times last summer. He is a Harry S. Truman Scholar. During the 2016 election cycle, David interned for Hillary Clinton's campaign policy team and was a member of her general election debate preparation team. As a Marshall Scholar, he will pursue a DPhil in International Relations at the University of Oxford.

Frank Smith

US University: Arizona State University

Frank Smith III, from Mesa, Arizona graduated from Arizona State University with degrees in Political Science and Public Policy. During his undergraduate career, he was elected as the youngest student body president at the largest public university in the United States, with over 100,000 students. Overcoming adversity as a product of the foster care system, he has found a passion for improving outcomes for foster children. Frank played an iatrical role in the passage of Arizona Senate Bill 1208-Foster Care Tuition Waiver and other pieces of legislation that are now improving outcomes for former foster youth. After seeing the power of grassroots organizing, Frank served as a Field Organizer for the Clinton Campaign in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is now a Policy Advisor for David Garcia, who is running for Governor in Arizona. While in the UK, Frank plans to pursue an MPhil in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford.

Craig Stevens

US University: American University

Craig Stevens, from the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, is a former Division I College Football player-turned aspiring Archaeologist from American University. For his senior thesis, Craig researched the life of Josiah Henson, an Underground Railroad conductor who inspired the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Craig created a virtual tour for the historical site in Rockville, Maryland, dedicated to Josiah Henson’s life. He plans to study Archaeology and the African Diaspora at University College London and King’s College London. In the future, Craig aims to use archaeological and ethnographic methods to investigate the lives of African Diasporic communities across the world.

Meghana Vagwala

US University:Duke University

Meghana Vagwala is from South Grafton, Massachusetts. An Angier B. Duke Scholar, she will graduate in 2017 from Duke University with a self-designed degree (Program II) in Neuroscience, Ethics, and Anthropology. She has first authored a paper on cognitive enhancement in Neuroethics. She conducted fieldwork in Kathmandu for her senior thesis, studying the nature of medical knowledge and stigma pertaining to mental illness. Outside of academia, she advocates for victim-survivors of gender-based violence and volunteers with children at Duke Hospital, in addition to serving as President of the Program II Majors’ Union and President of Round Table, her selective living group. Meghana plans to pursue an MScR in Medical Anthropology at University of Edinburgh and an MSc in Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Afterwards, she plans for a career in medicine and global health.

Derek Wang

US University: Stanford University

Derek Wang is from Sewickley, Pennsylvania and will graduate from Stanford University with a BS and MS in Materials Science. Through his research experiences in academia and in Silicon Valley at Google Life Sciences and Apple, he has developed useful and novel materials, such as nanostraws for molecular delivery into cells, materials that convert sunlight to heat, and nanoparticles that change colour in response to force. As a Marshall Scholar, he will study computational methods for materials at Oxford.


Garrett Wilkinson

US University: Kansas State University

Garrett Wilkinson studied Human Nutrition and Anthropology at Kansas State University, where he researched global malnutrition and the quality of U.S. food aid products while also leading advocacy campaigns for state and federal anti-poverty policies as a RESULTS group leader. He is director of special projects for the Open World Cause and has interned for Partners In Health and USAID Zambia. As a Marshall Scholar, Garrett hopes to study for a PhD in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. After studying in the United Kingdom, he plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in global health with an organization like the CDC or WHO.


Olivia Zhao

US University: MIT

Olivia Zhao‚Äč, from Overland Park, Kansas, will graduate from MIT with a major in Economics and minors in Public Policy and Mathematics. She has conducted research with MIT’s Economics and Political Science Departments and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Her research has covered topics including workers' compensation laws, children's health insurance, and performance enhancing drug use in baseball. At MIT, an interest in education led her to volunteer as a teaching assistant for Teach for America in Milwaukee and direct MIT Academic Teaching Initiative, a program that provides affordable SAT classes for low-income Boston area students. At Oxford, she will pursue a master's degree in economics.

Liang Zhou

US University: MIT

Liang Zhou, from Riverside, California, is an MIT senior majoring in Brain & Cognitive Sciences and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. He is fascinated by how people think, act, and make decisions, and his research with Josh Tenenbaum involves modeling our intuitive knowledge of the physical world. As a Marshall Scholar, Liang will study for an MPhil in computational neuroscience at University College London, focusing on the statistical mechanisms of neural learning. He eventually hopes to apply his research by advising policy decisions rooted in scientific judgments of human thought, responsibility, and behavior.