Jan. 19-25, 2001
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Katie Dirks
Rebecca Arrington
Katie Dirks, Marshall scholar

U.Va. student awarded Marshall scholarship

By Robert Brickhouse

Katherine Dirks, a fourth-year government honors student at the University, is one of 40 undergraduates from around the United States chosen to receive a prestigious British Marshall Scholarship. The scholarships, announced by the British government last month, enable the students to undertake graduate study at a British university for a period of two years.

Dirks, the eighth U.Va. student to be awarded this honor since the scholarships were established in 1953, plans to pursue a master of philosophy degree in international relations at Oxford University. The Marshall Scholarships, among the highest undergraduate honors in the U.S., cover tuition costs, books, travel and living expenses.

A native of Baton Rouge, La., Dirks has been both a Jefferson Scholar and Echols Scholar at U.Va. She has been deeply interested in immigration and citizenship policy in her academic career and plans to continue to study and eventually work in that area.

"Oxford will be an ideal place for me to study," she said. "I'll be able to look closely at European immigration policy."

With a GPA of about 3.9, she has been vice president of U.Va.'s International Relations Organization and president of the Raven Society, U.Va.'s oldest honorary organization. Among numerous other extracurricular activities, she has been closely involved with University Mediation Services, the Women's Center's Young Women Leaders mentoring program and Madison House volunteers.

"She's a great leader, very outgoing, with a wonderful sense of what's important," said Nicole Hurd, assistant director of U.Va.'s Fellowships Office. "She pursued a very rigorous academic curriculum but also reached out widely in service work. She's a person of amazing balances."


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