ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 23, 2005) -- Ohio University senior Sarah Sexton of Athens, has been named a George J. Mitchell Scholar for 2006-07. She is one of only 12 students awarded the prestigious scholarship, which will allow her to pursue a master's degree next year at the University of Limerick's Centre for Peace and Development Studies in Ireland. Sexton is the first Ohio University student to receive a Mitchell Scholarship.
"I think it's an amazing opportunity," said Sexton. "It was great to meet all the wonderful people associated with the scholarship during my interview and I will bring back a wealth of experiences from Ireland." The Mitchell Scholarship is a competitive, national scholarship available to American citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 at institutions of higher learning. Recipients must use the scholarship for graduate study in Ireland.
The scholarship provides tuition, housing, international travel and a $12,000 stipend for living expenses. Recipients must exhibit superior records of academic excellence, leadership and public service. To win the award, she was chosen from a pool of 250 students representing more than 170 universities and colleges.
The George J. Mitchell Scholarship is named in honor of the former U.S. Senator, who was chairman of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Under his leadership, the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom and the political parties of Northern Ireland agreed to a historic accord, ending decades of conflict. In May 1998, the voters of Ireland, North and South, in a referendum, overwhelmingly endorsed the agreement. As a reward for his outstanding leadership, Mitchell was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Sexton, who received a Harry S. Truman Scholarship last year, is an Honors Tutorial College student majoring in political science with minors in geography and Spanish. Since 2004, she has served the city as an at-large member of Athens City Council and has been an active member of the local Democratic Party. She is a co-founder of Ohio University's Student Renters Union and is a member of the Athens Rotaract Club.
"Sarah is a remarkable young woman and the Mitchell committee seemed to grasp that fact even before her interview," said Ann Fidler, dean of the Honors Tutorial College. "She learned during the course of the interview that she was one of only two of the 20 finalists who wasn't subjected to the semifinalist review process. Thanks to Sarah's hard work, the faculty mentoring she received and the help that Ann Brown in the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards provided, Sarah has contributed to the national prominence of Ohio University."
Sexton's academic interest is public policy and public interest law. After graduating from law school, she plans on fighting poverty as an advocate for disenfranchised individuals. She is the daughter of Timothy and Colleen Sexton.
For more information about Ohio University's Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, visit www.onca.org.
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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Editors: A photo of Sexton can be found at www.ohiou.edu/news/pix/SEXTON_SARAH.JPG