Mason Senior Named Marshall Scholarship Finalist

Posted: November 18, 2013 at 5:00 am, Last Updated: November 19, 2013 at 7:03 am

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Stephanie Skees

Stephanie Skees. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Skees

George Mason University Honors College senior Stephanie Skees has been named a 2014 Marshall Scholarship Finalist. A social work major with a minor in conflict analysis and resolution, Skees interviewed at the British Embassy on Nov. 16 for one of the nation’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships.

The Marshall Scholarship was established by the British Parliament in 1953 and named after U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall to foster the U.S.-UK relationship after World War II.

Approximately 950 students are endorsed for the scholarship by their universities each year, and 160 of those are selected as finalists. A total of 40 students receive the scholarship to pursue graduate study at a UK institution each year.

“I am honored to represent Mason in the Marshall Scholarship competition because I believe our university promotes a unique culture of scholarship, leadership and global citizenship, Skees says. “I am extremely excited and proud to be given the opportunity to represent the university in this national competition.”

Skees has distinguished herself as both a scholar and a campus leader during her undergraduate career at Mason. While maintaining a near-perfect GPA, Skees has participated in collegiate rowing, led the university’s Habitat for Humanity organization, conducted research overseas in Taiwan and currently serves as a head resident advisor in the residence halls. She also mentors student researchers at George Mason.

Originally from Elizabethtown, Penn., Skees has focused her social work studies on improving aging policies in the United States by analyzing cultural approaches to aging in other countries. She has completed internships at the Green Acres Seniors Center and Vitas Hospice in Northern Virginia. In 2012 and 2013, Stephanie received funding from the Center for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and OSCAR to conduct research on filial piety and aging policies in Taiwan.

Skees is proposing to study aging policy at King’s College in London before pursuing a degree in social research at the University of Sussex, where she plans to examine comparative aging policies between the Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Her career goal is to become a high-level policymaker in an international organization that supports aging populations, such as the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics.

Zofia Burr, dean of the Honors College, described Stephanie as “exactly the sort of student that the Honors College and George Mason University strive to graduate: academically successful, curious about the world around her, committed to making meaningful change through her research and through her engagement with her community, generous and genuine of spirit.”

The Office of Fellowships in the Honors College identifies talented, high-achieving students and assists them in applying for prestigious fellowships. Through outreach and student development, the office works with students throughout their academic careers to help them achieve their goals.

LaNitra Berger, director of fellowships in the Honors College, says, “I am so pleased that Stephanie was selected for a Marshall interview. She has demonstrated her commitment to lead on important domestic and international issues, such as aging policies and affordable housing. Stephanie worked diligently on her application, writing dozens of drafts by the deadline. I think that she will be a fantastic ambassador for both Mason and the United States.”

The students chosen for the scholarships will be announced later this month.

Write to Robin Herron at rherron@gmu.edu

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