Winning a national scholarship is a dream for many, but for fourth-year political science and international studies major Brittany Schick, this has become a reality. One of the most prestigious national scholarships, the George J. Mitchell scholarship, was recently awarded to her.
Founded in 1998, this scholarship was named after former U.S. Senator George G. Mitchell for his assistance in the Northern Ireland peace agreements. The goal of the scholarship is to help link current American leaders to Ireland.
Sponsored by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, this honor rewards students with a host school and all living expenses in Northern Ireland and Ireland for one year of graduate study.
The award is open to 18-to-30 year old American citizens who have demonstrated exceptional community and academic leadership. This year, there were 220 applicants from 166 institutions of higher learning and 12 recipients awarded.
Schick learned about the scholarship through UCI’s Scholarship Opportunities Office. Several members of UCI’s faculty helped Schick through the process.
‘Audrey DeVore and Rebecca Harris were helpful mentors during the application process,’ Schick said. ‘I was also mentored and encouraged by several professors at UCI, including Professor Patrick Morgan, Professor Caesar Sereseres, and Professor Richard Matthew. The Dean of Undergraduate Education, Meredith Lee, was also helpful in preparing me for the Mitchell Scholarship interview process.’
When Schick first found that that she won the award, she immediately understood the amazing opportunities it provided.
‘I was absolutely thrilled to discover that I would have the opportunity to live and attend graduate school in Ireland for a year,’ Schick said.
Schick will attend Dublin City University in Ireland and work on her master’s degree in international relations.
Schick chose Ireland as a host country because, ‘I’m interested in studying how intelligence was used in Ireland prior to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The North Ireland conflict is a unique and rich case study because of its similarities to some problems the United States is facing in terms of insurgency and ethnic or religious conflict around the globe.’
A native of Yorkville, Ill., Schick has attended UCI on a four-year Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarship.
‘I am currently in Air Force ROTC at UCLA, which is essentially a method by which students are trained to become officers in the Air Force upon completion of their undergraduate degree,’ Schick said. ‘So once I receive my degree in June, I will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force.’
When asked about what she highlighted in the application, Schick responded, ‘The Mitchell Scholarship is awarded based on academic excellence, community service and leadership