Loren Marshall ’13 was recently named as one of the finalists for the first-ever Challenge Your Perspectives program, a highly-competitive scholarship contest that aims to connect talented college students to master degree programs at top-ranking universities in Sweden.
Marshall received third-place honors out of a pool of 1,629 high-achieving applicants from the United States. Students competed for the opportunity to study political science at Stockholm University, economics at Uppsala University, or environmental policy and management at Lund University.
“After participating in a sustainable urban design curriculum during my semester abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, I knew I had to return to Scandinavia one day to continue my studies,” Marshall says of her intrigue for entering the contest. “This scholarship competition was an incredible opportunity and I never expected to make it as far as I did considering the number of applicants. The application process involved several steps and I am thankful to everyone who provided a recommendation during the online portion.”
As a finalist, Marshall, who is a student trustee and double majors in architectural studies and urban studies, received a V.I.P. pass to the program’s awards ceremony at the Swedish Embassy in Washington D.C., with all of her travel expenses and accommodations paid. Should Marshall choose to apply to a master’s program in Sweden, her application fee will be waived as part of her winnings.
“The resumes of those where were chosen as finalists were very impressive – typical of national and international fellowship competitions like the Rhodes and Gates-Cambridge competitions,” says Scott MacPhail, fellowships advisor and assistant director of The Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development. “The fact that Loren advanced to the final round of the competition is evidence that she is among the most sought-after U.S. college graduates in her field.”
Reflecting on the experience, Marshall offers thanks to those who helped her along the way, as well as her liberal arts education from HWS and the resources available to all students of the Colleges.
“I am very grateful for the interdisciplinary education that I have received at HWS,” Marshall says. “When I interviewed with the dean of the department at Lund University he mentioned how impressed he was with my combination of courses and valued the direction of my undergraduate education. The collective environmental, anthropology and urban studies courses have made me a well-rounded and engaged student of sustainable initiatives.”
At the Colleges, Marshall is involved with the Architecture Society and Arts Collective groups. She is a Teaching Fellow for the Architecture Department and has worked on various design projects around Geneva. In her sophomore year, she interned with the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center and assisted with the “Pride in Our Pocket Parks” campaign. Marshall was a member of the Laurel Society and has both choreographed and performed for the annual Koshare Dance Collective performance.
In applying to the competition, Marshall indicates that she would like to pursue a career that “encourages a new-drive for education and community activism, along with holding businesses to higher standards of environmental consciousness, while utilizing best practice.” She began the application process in the summer of 2012, collecting hundreds of recommendations on differing social media platforms.
The Challenge Your Perspectives utilized a three-part process to assess the applicant pool. There was a “Knowledge Quiz” that tested students on current international affairs, Swedish society and education, as well as topics related to their chosen field of study. An essay portion challenged applicants with a case problem for which they would draft a resolution. Finally, applicants prepared a personal statement that underscored their intentions and qualifications for entrance into a Swedish master’s program.
The scholarship contest credits a Swedish master’s degree as offering the “unique opportunity to turn theory into practice, challenge your perspectives, and acquire the innovation skills that make a competitive difference.”
In the photo above, Loren Marshall ’13 stands with students from other United States college students during a trip to Washington, D.C., for a ceremony at the Embassy of Sweden.