Stephanie Bryson (GRD ’13) and Luke Schoenfelder (COL ’12) will be heading to England in fall 2012 as recipients of the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, respectively.

Bryson, a first year student in the School of Foreign Services’ Master of Arts in German and European Studies program, was one of 32 students chosen to study at Oxford University on the Rhodes scholarship next fall. She will postpone the second year of her master’s program to study in England.

Bryson is the first scholarship winner from California State University, Long Beach, where she was valedictorian of her undergraduate class and graduated summa cum laude. At Georgetown, she is the first recipient of the award since 2008 but shares a legacy with 22 other Rhodes scholars, including President Bill Clinton (SFS ’68).

Bryson said she is interested in studying transatlantic relationships, although she has not determined what degree she will pursue at Oxford. She is still torn between a Masters of Philosophy in European politics and society and a Doctorate of Philosophy in politics and international relations.

“[My interests are] kind of my life story,” she said. “I grew up with both the American and German cultures in my household.”

Much of Bryson’s inspiration to apply for the Rhodes scholarship came from her experiences studying abroad in Germany.

“That’s where it was driven home how important relationships between countries are,” she said. “I see little differences getting in the way of us doing big things.”

Schoenfelder, the 19th Georgetown student to win a Marshall scholarship, was inspired to apply for the grant by his volunteer work in Haiti. Schoenfelder is currently spearheading both alternative energy and sustainable building methods in the country.

Working in an emerging market made Schoenfelder excited about rural energy development and strengthening his business skills.

“After doing all this research in Haiti, I realize that there is so much more I need to learn in order to really be effective,” he said.

A government major, Schoenfelder plans to study either planning, regeneration and growth at Cambridge University or innovation, entrepreneurship and management at Imperial College London. Both programs encompass his interests in environmental protection and job creation.

But Schoenfelder is concerned that studying in England may inhibit his ability to travel to Haiti as often as he would like.

“Being able to … manage operations on the ground from afar is a skill I’m going to have to get better at,” he said.

John Glavin, director of the Office of Fellowships, said that Bryson and Schoenfelder’s applications stood out because they were able to combine academic success with real world experience.

“They are both astonishingly accomplished. They each went out and they forged their own paths,” he said.

Five more students were recognized as finalists for the two awards. Three of the five were finalists for both scholarships, and one additional student was a finalist for the Rhodes alone while one more was a finalist for the Marshall.

Glavin believes that there are several more students at the university who have the potential to win the awards than apply each year.

“I think there are more qualified people at Georgetown than we see in the process,” he said. “I think that more people see a glass ceiling and don’t try.”

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