Two recent Georgetown University graduates were awarded prestigious scholarships to study for a year at universities in the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland next year as George Mitchell Scholars.

Bryanna T. Hocking (SFS ’00) and Kathleen M. Long (COL ’99) were among 12 Americans to be honored as by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance. The nationwide competition, which considered 200 applicants, provides scholarships to individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 who have demonstrated intellectual distinction, leadership potential and commitment to community service.

In honor of Senator George Mitchell (D-Maine) and his participation in the Northern Ireland peace process, the scholarship was created in 1998 with a $3 million endowment by the Irish government.

Applicants were interviewed by a committee including Elliot Gerson, the American Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship Committee, Sean O’Uiginn, Irish Ambassador to the United States and Georgetown University Professor of English George O’Brien. Awardees will receive full tuition coverage for the year-long program and are additionally provided with living expenses and travel stipends.

A native of Eugene, Ore., Hocking plans to attend the University of Limerick to study Peace and Development Studies. Founder and co-chair of the Georgetown Women’s Guild, and co-author of The Guide: A Little Beige Book for Today’s Miss G, a handbook for Georgetown women, that attracted national media attention, Hocking is an aspiring journalist. She also interned with Newsweek and The Hill in addition to writing for The Hoya. According to the Hocking, her interest in the fields of journalism and international studies can hopefully be “combined in a career that contributes to increased ethnic harmony among the world’s peoples.”

Long, who was the executive director of the North American Model United Nations and a founding member of the Catholic Student Advisory Board, additionally worked on developing programs and publications for the Office of Campus Ministry at the university. A native of Paterson, New Jersey, she plans to study government at University College in Cork.

Long anticipates that her time spent in Ireland will further her “passion for service through politics.”

The goal of the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, a non-partisan, non-profit organization based in Washington D.C., is to improve relations between the United States and Ireland. According to its Web site, the Alliance “includes members from both the United States and Ireland, representing groups and individuals with a strong interest in Irish affairs. It educates the American public about the relationship and is creating a network so that the constituency will have an informed voice in Washington.”

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