Olin College Student Named Gates Cambridge Scholar

Walder-Biesanz, a native of Portland, OR, will work toward a master’s degree in European Literature and Culture. She joins 39 other US students who have been named this year to the esteemed postgraduate study program.

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Needham, Mass. (PRWEB) February 18, 2013

Ilana Walder-Biesanz, a senior at Olin College of Engineering, will take up a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge, England, this fall. Walder-Biesanz is the first Olin student to receive the prestigious scholarship, which was established in 2001 through a $210 million grant to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Competition for places is fierce and the program is unique in its emphasis on social leadership as well as outstanding academic ability.

Walder-Biesanz, a native of Portland, Ore., will work toward a master’s degree in European Literature and Culture. She joins 39 other US students who have been named this year to the esteemed postgraduate study program. The successful candidates, who will study for a variety of one-year courses and doctoral degrees, were whittled down from an initial field of around 750 applicants. The 83 shortlisted candidates were interviewed in Washington, D.C., on February 1 and 2 by Cambridge and US academics.

The new US scholars will join 50 scholars from other countries around the world, who will be announced this spring. At any one time there are almost 250 Gates Cambridge Scholars at the University of Cambridge – one of the world's oldest and most prestigious universities.

Olin joins 11 US colleges and universities represented for the first time, including public and private institutions ranging from liberal arts colleges to research universities. This brings the number of US institutions who have had Gates Cambridge Scholars to 183 since the program began.

“We are delighted to announce our new US Scholars,” said Professor Robert Lethbridge, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust. “They are an outstanding group of individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds. They fully meet the criteria of the Scholarship in being both intellectually outstanding and having a capacity for leadership and a commitment to improving the lives of others. They should be proud of this achievement and we can expect much of them.”

Bios and photos of the new US Scholars are available here.

For more information on the Scholarship program, see http://www.gatescambridge.org.