No Georgetown students won Rhodes, Marshall or Mitchell fellowships during this year’s application cycle, the results of which were announced throughout the past two weeks.

Between 2001 and 2010, four Georgetown students have won Rhodes scholarships, seven have won Marshall scholarships and nine have been awarded Mitchell scholarships, according to the Georgetown Office of Fellowships, Awards and Research.

The last Rhodes fellowship won by a Georgetown student was awarded to Stephanie Bryson, a former SFS grad student in 2011. Shea Houlihan (SFS ’13) and Benjamin Buchanan (COL ’11, GRAD ’13) won Marshall scholarships and Wardah Athar (COL ’13) won a Mitchell fellowship last year.

In total, 23 Georgetown students have won the Rhodes scholarship between 1903 and 2013, according to the program’s website. Georgetown has had a total of 21 students win the Marshall Scholarship for two years of post-graduate study in the United Kingdom and 14 win the Mitchell Scholarship for post-graduate study in Ireland.

GOFAR administrators, however, do not view this year’s results as an impediment to future students’ ambitions.

“This is certainly not a setback given the rarity of these fellowships,” GOFAR Director John Glavinwrote in an email. “Fellowship winners are the academic equivalent of Olympic medalists.”

Six Harvard University students won Rhodes scholarships this year, more than at any other institution. It was followed by Yale and Stanford, which each had three Rhodes scholars. Director of Fellowships Lauren Tuckley suggested that the rarity of fellowships awarded could be affected by the low number of Georgetown students who apply.

“It helps to understand when one sees that significantly smaller than 1 percent of a class is interested in applying,” she said in an email. “Georgetown will only grow its chances of winning fellowships when more students are interested in competing.”

This year, the committee of faculty administrators and former fellowship winners that recommends students to fellowship committees endorsed nine of the 16 alumni and seniors that applied. The process consisted of applying for university endorsement during the spring of students’ junior years, then interviewing skills over the next few months before the fellowships’ deadlines in October.

GOFAR holds six weeks of mock interviews from October to November that provide feedback and coaching tips on topics ranging from academic reasoning to body language and intonation.

“I felt that I was very well prepared, that the office gives each of us a lot of time and support as we develop our applications and as we prepare for the interviews,” said Andrew Choi (SFS ’14), a finalist for the Rhodes scholarship whose research focuses on energy and paper-based batteries.

Regardless of the outcome, applicants said they believed the process of applying was rewarding and allowed them to develop their academic ambitions.

“I think it was definitely helpful for me personally, to help me to clarify exactly what I wanted to do and study,” said Aamir Hussain (COL ’14), who applied for the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships to examine the use of interfaith dialogue in improving healthcare.

Students noted that GOFAR gave them a consistent amount of support, even after decisions had been made.

“Throughout the process I developed a network and the school professors helped me to prepare for the interview,” Choi said.

Choi expressed the hope that other students will consider applying for these scholarships.

“One thing I would say though is to encourage more people to apply,” Choi said, “I don’t think Georgetown gets enough applicants to apply to the Office of Fellowships and one thing I hope to do is encourage talented sophomores and juniors to start considering to apply and start talking to them.”

Although the Rhodes and Marshall fellowships have completed their application cycles for this year, other opportunities such as the James Madison Memorial Fellowship, the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Program and the NIH-Cambridge Scholars Program are still accepting applications.

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