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Alumna Named Marshall Scholar

Chelsea Glenn will study international development at Oxford and Sussex

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Chelsea Glenn, a summa cum laude 2013 graduate of Northwestern University from Northville, Mich., has been awarded a prestigious Marshall Scholarship to study economic development at the University of Oxford and global development at the University of Sussex.

Glenn, who is fluent in Spanish, currently resides in Mexico City. As a Fulbright-García Robles Scholar, she is researching the effects of easily accessible consumer credit on household welfare.

“I expect that Chelsea will make a significant contribution in the field of international development,” said Brian Hanson, director of Northwestern’s Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies. “She is truly passionate about human justice and the need for social change.”

Glenn’s first on-the-ground experience of community development work took place in Bolivia through Northwestern’s Global Engagement Studies Institute. She and a team of American students were tasked with expanding an in-school HIV education program for teens in the city of Cochabamba. She continues to appreciate the most important lesson she learned from the experience -- that local community leaders know more than outsiders and need to be consulted.

She applied that lesson when, with an undergraduate research grant, she conducted research for her senior thesis at two Ethiopian refugee camps. Exploring the economic coping strategies of long-time refugees, Glenn interviewed both refugees and experienced humanitarian workers.

Among other awards, Glenn earned Northwestern’s Women in Leadership Achievement Award, a Fletcher Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research and the Frank Safford Prize for Best Honors Thesis in International Studies.

To foster discussions of social justice and diversity issues in Chicago, Glenn -- who majored in economics and international studies in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences -- developed programming around Alex Kotlowitz’s book “Never a City So Real” as a One Book One Northwestern Fellow. One Book One Northwestern is the University’s community reading program. 

As director and executive board member of the Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights, she taught a for-credit class for 12 undergraduates on forced migration, helped raise $40,000 in funding and directed a staff of 80 to put on one of the largest student-led human rights conferences in the nation.

At Northwestern, she also found time to establish and direct the University’s Women’s Caucus, serve as a fellow at the Center for Civic Engagement, design leadership workshops to promote communication among 30 social justice student groups, and work as a volunteer coordinator recruiting and leading volunteers to a Chicago restaurant-style soup kitchen. She also was a fellow at the Center for Global Engagement. 

In addition to Glenn, Northwestern University senior Rhaina Cohen also was awarded a Marshall. It is the fourth time that Northwestern has claimed two Marshalls in a single year since the University’s  Office of Fellowships was created in 1998.

The Marshall Scholarships were established in 1953 as a British gesture of thanks to the people of the United States for assistance they received under the Marshall plan after World War II.

The Office of Fellowships provided valuable assistance to Glenn throughout the Marshall application process. The fellowships office, directed by Sara Vaux, assists students and alumni in expanding and deepening their intellectual pursuits and commitment to global service. 

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