USC senior Moriah Mulroe and Anu Ramachandran ’13 have been awarded a 2016 Marshall Scholarship to pursue fully funded graduate degrees at top British universities. They are the latest of 10 Trojans to win the scholarship since 1969.
The United Kingdom confers the scholarships to provide outstanding U.S. students the opportunity to study in its universities.
Mulroe and Ramachandran — the first women from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences to garner the coveted award — are part of a cohort of 32 Marshall Scholarship recipients for 2016. Winners were selected based on their extraordinary academic achievement, demonstration of leadership potential and ability to serve as future ambassadors for U.K.-U.S. relations.
Mulroe, a biochemistry and geological sciences major, will spend a year exploring interdisciplinary approaches to studying water resource issues at Queen Mary University of London and a second year studying geochemistry.
Erica Lovano McCann, director of academic honors and fellowships at USC, praised Mulroe’s scholarship and character.
“Moriah’s intellectual curiosity and deep commitment to advocacy are at the heart of all she does. Her accomplishments are many, but she remains a tremendous example of humility. She will surely represent the Trojan Family well in the U.K.”
Ramachandran will take a year off from medical school to study public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
“Having earned both the Steven and Kathryn Sample Renaissance Scholar distinction and Global Scholar prize winner distinction, Anu left an impressive legacy at USC,” Lovano McCann said. “Her Global Scholar Capstone Project was unanimously selected as a winner of one of 10 $10,000 prizes awarded in 2013.”
Not just another day in the lab
Mulroe got the call about her Marshall Scholarship win while working in the chemistry lab.
“I was initially shocked, then very excited. It was a lot of emotions all at once,” she said. “I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity and excited to undertake this adventure.”
Originally from Arlington Heights, Ill., Mulroe almost didn’t apply to USC in light of its distance from her home, but her mother encouraged her to “just give it a shot,” Mulroe said. Her application led to an invitation for a scholarship interview and ultimately four years of paid tuition through a Mork Family Scholarship.
“John and Julie Mork are wonderful people — I truly would not be here without them,” she said.
At USC Dornsife, Mulroe said, she has benefitted greatly from the mentorship of Hanna Reisler, holder of the Lloyd Armstrong Jr. Chair for Science and Engineering and professor of chemistry.
“I’ve worked in her lab since freshman year, and Dr. Reisler has always provided me with the best advice and many opportunities. I remain grateful to her for serving as a strong role model for me and all women in the field of chemistry.”
Seeking the bigger picture
Now in her third year of medical school at Johns Hopkins University, Ramachandran is passionate about international health and health policy.
The San Jose native was a Trustee Scholar at USC Dornsife who majored in neuroscience and philosophy. She founded USC’s chapter of GlobeMed, a student activism and fundraising organization that pairs students with international NGOs.
At Johns Hopkins, Ramachandran has served as director of the student-run Refugee Health Partners, which works with the International Rescue Committee of Baltimore to aid newly arrived refugees with chronic and complex medical conditions.
At the London School, Ramachandran plans to conduct research in the Public Health in Humanitarian Crisis Group led by Karl Blanchet. Her goal is to supplement her clinical background with a bigger picture of advocacy research and policy work around global health and refugee health. The London School is ideal for this kind of work, she said, with its connections to the World Health Organization and leaders of other big international health organizations.
“It’s incredible; I feel really lucky to get this award,” Ramachandran said. “So many people helped me along the way. Marshall has such a great network of exciting, motivated people in different parts of the world, and I’m really excited to plug into that network.”