Three Georgetown students were among the 40 Marshall Scholars chosen this year, with Seamus Caragher (COL ’16), Devika Ranjan (SFS ’17) and Erika Raven (GRD ’17) earning the fellowship to spend two years studying in the United Kingdom while pursuing a postdoctoral research topic of their choice.
The three follow in the footsteps of Matthew Quallen (SFS ’16), who was Georgetown’s 11th Marshall Scholar.
Caragher studied neurobiology before graduating from Georgetown last year. Now a 22-year-old research technologist at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, Caragher said he plans to use his scholarship for a one-year master’s degree in cancer sciences at the University of Glasgow, followed by a one-year master’s degree in technology policy at the University of Cambridge.
After studying abroad, Caragher said he wants to pursue a medical degree and hopes for a residency in neurosurgery or neuro-oncology.
“I want to blend translational research and clinical practice,” Caragher said in a statement on the Georgetown website. “To successfully serve as a clinician, I must have deep connections to research. In order to meaningfully contribute to patient-focused research, I need to confront cancer each day.
Ranjan, who is set to graduate from Georgetown with a degree in culture and politics this spring, aims to pursue a master’s degree in refugee and forced migration at the University of Oxford for a year and a second one-year master’s degree in devised theater at the university.
Ranjan said the Marshall Scholarship was a unique fellowship opportunity.
“I loved that I could combine my interest in refugee advocacy with formal theatre training — the Marshall supports this interdisciplinary creativity,” Ranjan said.
Through her studies, Ranjan said she has found similarities between theater and politics, which she hopes to explore further with this scholarship.
“Theater and politics are both based on performance. On the political side, each diplomatic interaction and event is inherently theatrical — we are performing and representing the essence of our country to the rest of the world,” Ranjan said in an interview with The Hoya. “Performance is an entertaining, organic, grassroots way of teaching us about the world around us. Theater is unique because of its physicality.”
University President John. J. DeGioia said in a university press release that Ranjan’s work addressing refugee issues through theatre exemplifies the spirit of Georgetown.
“Devika’s extraordinary efforts to engage marginalized communities through performance reflect our University’s most deeply-held values,” DeGioia said. “We are so proud that Devika has won the Marshall.”
Raven, this year’s third Marshall Scholar, is a Ph.D. candidate in Georgetown’s Interdisciplinary Program for Neuroscience.
With the scholarship, Raven plans to continue her research on the long term behavioral and cognitive effects of iron deficiency at the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre.
Ultimately, Raven’s research aims to provide a more specific and sensitive way to track developmental change and facilitate diagnosis.
In the university press release, William Rebeck, a professor of neuroscience, said that Raven deserves the scholarship given the research she has done so far.
“Erika’s selection as a Marshall Sherfield Fellow ensures the continuation of her important research on brain development and her dedicated efforts to share the sciences more widely,” DeGioia said with regard to Raven. “We look forward to following the development of her work in the time ahead.”
Hoya Staff Writer Tala Al-Rajjal contributed reporting.
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