Ann Monk ’21 is one of 46 recipients of the Marshall Scholarship, the U.K. Government announced on Dec. 7, 2020. The winners, considered to be among the best and brightest university students and recent graduates in the United States, will begin graduate studies at many of the U.K.’s top academic institutions beginning in September 2021.
Monk, the founder and president of Conn’s Student Refugee Alliance, will be pursuing research in diaspora studies and international development at SOAS University of London and University College London. She is the first Conn student to be awarded a Marshall Scholarship, which finances graduate studies at a U.K. institution in any field of study for up to three years.
“I’m excited to live in London—a city with an incredibly rich history and such cultural significance,” said Monk, who is double majoring in international relations and global Islamic studies, and minoring in Arabic.
“I can’t wait to meet new people from all walks of life and to volunteer with refugee resettlement organizations in a new place.”
Named for Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Marshall Scholarship Program began in 1953 as a gesture of gratitude to the people of the U.S. for the assistance that the U.K. received after World War II under the Marshall Plan. Since that time, it has remained uniquely positioned among national scholarships for its prestige and scope.
“Marshall Scholarship classes traditionally represent a diverse mix of cultural, academic, institutional and socio-economic backgrounds, but the 2021 class is truly ground-breaking,” said Dame Karen Pierce, British Ambassador to the United States, “This class, one of the most diverse and inclusive in the program’s history, is a wonderful mirror of modern American society and demonstrates the vital role that the Marshall Scholarship continues to play in maintaining a vibrant U.S.-U.K. relationship.”
“Ann has been an inspiring student to work with ever since she joined the Walter Commons as a student fellow in her first year at Conn,” said Amy Dooling, associate dean of Global Initiatives, director of the Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement, and professor of Chinese.
“Her ongoing dedication to Arabic language studies, her commitment to civic engagement, and her determination to expand her knowledge and worldview exemplify the power and potential of a globally-focused integrative Connecticut College education.
“It has been an absolute joy to support this exceptional young scholar in her various global endeavors and we are thrilled she has been selected for this highly prestigious international fellowship.”
Monk hopes to be a leader in global education reform some day with a particular focus on expanding access to educational opportunities for refugees. She has said that her dream job would be to work for the U.N. or a government agency, a dream within reach considering that the Marshall Scholarship has given rise to an unprecedented breadth of expertise in almost every academic field, producing numerous university presidents, six Pulitzer Prize winners, one Nobel Laureate, 14 MacArthur Fellows, two Academy Award nominees, two Supreme Court justices and a NASA astronaut.
“What an extraordinary honor it is for Ann to become one of 46 Marshall Scholars from across the United States,” said Dean of the College and Faulk Foundation Professor of Psychology Jefferson Singer.
“Along with the Rhodes Scholarship, the Marshall is the most competitive fellowship that a graduating senior can receive. It is a testament to Ann’s dedication and leadership in the cause of worldwide refugees—a focus that has shaped her four years at Connecticut College.
“It also points to the outstanding support she has received from her faculty mentors and the committed staff of the Walter Commons for Global Engagement,” Singer said.