Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards

The George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program, named to honor former US Senator George Mitchell’s pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service. Mitchell Scholars are funded for one academic year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The scholarship provides tuition, accommodation, a stipend for living expenses and travel.

The application process provides students with the opportunity to present their qualifications for the campus nomination. Learn more about our campus application process here.

View the Mitchell Scholars directory for a comprehensive list of scholars.

UW Undergraduate Nominees and Scholars

2021- 2022

Emily Bascom

2022 grad, Informatics major

Emily Bascom

I am a graduating Senior pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Informatics with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction and a minor in Entrepreneurship. My interests include how information is created and disseminated and the world of misinformation and disinformation.

In my time at the University of Washington, I have engaged in many research projects at the UW Information School, UW Medical Center, and Seattle Children’s Hospital on topics ranging from microphone security to medical informatics. I am also the Accommodation and Nutrition Director for the Husky Ski Team.

I was drawn to continuing my education in Europe because of the European Union’s progressive data security regulation and how these regulations bind companies from tech giants to start-ups. I hope to have the opportunity to engage with these communities while earning a Master’s in Human Computer Interaction in Ireland or Scotland before returning to the United States to apply my knowledge in industry.

Emily’s near and longer term goals: I will be graduating from the University of Washington in March and hope to continue my education in Dublin, Ireland or Edinburgh, Scotland. Following this, I hope to either obtain a PhD or work in industry.

Emily’s tips for future applicants: My tips for future students who are interested in applying for this scholarship and really any scholarship is to start early and do your research! Just like for a job interview, the more information you have about the scholarship mission and review criteria, the more successful you will be at navigating the application process and having a chance of earning the scholarship. Having as much time to do this research as possible is helpful, but it will also allow for you to iterate on your application materials, making you as strong of a candidate as possible!

Elizabeth Peterson

2022 grad, Near Eastern Studies major

Vanessa Zelenović

2022 grad, Political Science major

Vanessa Zelenović

I am finishing my fourth-year at UW. In addition to studying nonstop and working, I spend a lot of my time writing, reading, playing with my dog, and cooking. I was motivated to apply to this scholarship because I felt that it would align with my long-term goal of becoming a diplomat. I would be able to gain my graduate education abroad and become accustomed to immersing myself in a foreign culture.

Vanessa’s near and longer term goals: My short-term goals are to graduate with my BA and then go to graduate school. My long-term goals are to become an American foreign service officer.

Vanessa’s tips for future applicants: Start months in advance.

2020- 2021

2019- 2020

Sacha Moufarrej, Nominee

Senior, Neuroscience major

Sacha Moufarrej

I am currently a senior in the UW Honors Program, majoring in neuroscience and minoring in music. I conduct research on pediatric chronic pain at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and am currently working on a meta-analysis on the prevalence of chronic pain in young adults. Raised in a Lebanese-American household, I grew up in the midst of the sociopolitical issues plaguing Lebanon and its neighbors, and have witnessed the physical and mental trauma experienced in war-torn and displaced communities. I have volunteered as a tutor in Lebanon at SOS Children’s Villages, an international organization dedicated to providing homes, families, and other resources to abandoned or orphaned children, some of whom, within the Lebanese village of Bhersaf, are victims of the Syrian refugee crisis. I have also performed as a pianist and singer at fundraiser concerts in the Bay Area for SOS.

Through these experiences, I have developed an interest in studying disease patterns and health risks and disparities in vulnerable communities, with a specific focus on displaced, homeless, and refugee populations. Although I plan on pursuing medical school and becoming a physician, I also want to be able to play a role in informing public health policy through research. To do so, I hope to pursue graduate studies in medical anthropology and public health to develop a better understanding of the epidemiology of various diseases affecting different populations and to develop a strong foundation in health care policy, in order to identify key strategies for health care reform for systemically neglected displaced and migrant populations.

With the US and the UK being prominent global leaders and hubs of immigration, it is vital to have collaboration between the two nations in developing effective, people-focused domestic and foreign policies. However, these countries greatly differ in their approaches to public and global health. Pursuing graduate study in medical anthropology and global health in the UK, where many institutions have become leading proponents of public health reform, would allow me to widen my perspective on public health at an international level.

Sacha’s tips for future applicants
Do a lot of research on programs and scholarships that are available to you, and reach out to professors and advisers! UW has so many resources and people who provide a great support system during all stages of the application process.

Jordan Brown, Nominee

Senior, Mathematics major

Jordan Brown

I am an early entrance student at the University of Washington pursuing a degree in mathematics. I hope to become a research mathematician. My current research is focused on recent developments in type theory and the foundations of mathematics. The expansion of the use of computers in formal mathematical proofs is of great interest to me, and I hope to ascertain the extent to which type theory can be used not only to create programs which can check the validity of proofs, but which can independently generate mathematical proofs.

I come from Seattle, Washington and I have been interested in mathematics since I was very young. For the past few years, I have volunteered with the eMode Learning Foundation, teaching mathematics in Mount Baker and Rainier Beach to elementary- and middle-school students. I enjoy sharing my love of mathematics with people from my community, many of whom receive a very poor mathematical education in school.

Although I spend most of my time doing mathematics, I also act and play the clarinet. I love libraries and have visited nearly every branch in the Seattle Public Library system. One of my favorite activities is reading mathematical papers in German, both because I enjoy the mathematics and because I enjoy reading German. While I am far from fluent in German, I am rather adept in reading mathematical writing in German. This is convenient, as much of the literature on the foundations of mathematics in the twentieth century was written in German. Many other academic subjects interest me, and I have spent significant amounts of time reading about ethics, epistemology, psychology, physics, history, and sociology. My favorite authors of fiction are Paul Auster and James Baldwin.

Daniel O’Connell, Nominee

Senior, Linguistics & English Creative Writing major

Daniel O'Connell

I was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1997, and moved to the United States just before I turned 10. Ever since that time, poetry has been of central importance in my life, not solely as a base art form or a technical pursuit, but as a tactic for managing and accepting the limitations of a human life. Poetry, as it seems to me, is the art of a moment at length, the elaboration and preservation of some instant of perception. There seems to be no form better suited to bottling such a thing, a nostalgia or a joy or a grief or a fear or a confusion, such that those who consume it later are then subject to the very same feeling. This can be the poet themselves, too, for memory fades and distorts over great time, and aside from those of us born with flawless or all-retaining memories, there’s a need for strategies to retain what we cherish. Far more of your life will be in the past than the present; the majority of experience is an amalgam of the sliver of the present, on the one hand, and the far greater tract of all memories to date, on the other. Effective poetry, it must be said, cannot rely on earnest feeling alone. Technique is a necessity; polished and intentional and egalitarian technique. If I really want to become the best poet I possibly can, to affect myself and others, I must commit to an intense and sustained study. As more and more of my efforts continue to center around the craft, a scholarship to facilitate my continued studies would be invaluable, not only to myself, I hope, but to everyone whom I might convince of their stake in poetry. I believe everyone has already, on some level, been the beneficiary of poetry, some phrasing or metaphor that’s remained with them unerring from whenever they heard it; to be shown that its name is poetry is all that remains for them.

Daniel’s tips for future applicants
Start your applications as early as possible! Make sure that you given yourself as much time as you possibly can to draft, re-read, edit, re-start, etc., because otherwise you’ll run the risk of forgetting something important, or missing glaring errors, or rushing your work, and on something as potentially important as these applications, it isn’t worth it.

2018 - 2019

Jessica Johnson, Nominee

Senior, Bioengineering major

Jessica Johnson

Jessica is a 5th year student majoring in Bioengineering at the University of Washington. She has been involved in research since her freshman year, spanning topics from heart disease, to HIV, to her current project on spinal cord injuries. Presently, she is working under Dr. Saigal in the Department of Neurosurgery. Her research focuses on reducing the inflammatory response that occurs after a spinal cord injury by using polymers with encapsulated steroids. Spending time in the clinic shadowing Dr. Saigal has inspired her to pursue a Medical Degree, while still maintaining a research career. She is specifically hoping to become a rheumatologist where she hopes to help patients with complicated auto-immune conditions. Studying and pursuing research abroad would help set the foundation for her research career, while allowing her to also spend time in a different healthcare setting.

2012 – 2013

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Kelsey Barrett, Nominee

Global Health: General Track major

2010 - 2011

Geoffrey Morgan, Nominee

Civil & Environmental Engineering and International Studies major

2007 - 2008

Bradford Baker, Nominee

2005 - 2006

Hannah Janeway, Nominee

Lindsay Schola, Nominee

2004 - 2005

Erin Anderson, Nominee

Lindsay Scola, Nominee

Claire Suni, Nominee

2003 - 2004

Jennifer Devine, Nominee

Geography and International Studies major

Jennifer Devine is a Geography & International Studies major, specializing in Gender and Developmental Studies. She will graduate June 2004. Jennifer plans to study Gender and Development Studies at the London School of Economics as a Marshall Scholar or at University College Dublin as a Mitchell Scholar.
Jennifer is a 2002 graduate of the NEW Leadership Institute through the Center for Women & Democracy and was an intern for the Center during the 2002 academic year. During February 2003, she became the first student representative to participate with the Center on the “Women’s Mission” to Havana, Cuba. She is the co-founder and chair of the Executive Board of the NEW Leadership Alumnae Association. Jennifer is a research assistant for Lucy Jarosz and Victoria Lawson, Geography, investigating poverty, inequality and economic restructuring within rural poor communities in the Pacific Northwest.
Jennifer is a Martin Family Honors, a James Hall & Rose Glazier, and a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar. As a Rotary Scholar, Jennifer studies Geography and International Relations at the University of Seville in Spain during the 2000 academic year.

David Roberts, Nominee

Business Administration and Political Science major

David Roberts graduated June 2003 with degrees in Business Administration and Political Science. He plans to study Comparative Ethnic Conflict at Queen’s University of Belfast as a Mitchell Scholar or Development Studies at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

David grew up in the Seattle area entering the UW in autumn 1998. He quickly became drawn into many leadership activities; leading a divestment campaign at the UW targeting corporate impediments, election to the ASUW student government, to developing common sense solutions to flight global warming. David served two years as the director of EMPOWER, a very successful outreach program. EMPOWER assists Seattle area high school students from underrepresented communities with higher education and admission preparation.

David’s involvement opened doors to many opportunities including being an official observer at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in The Hague, Netherlands. He also garnered several awards. David was the 2001 Homecoming King, was selected as a Harry S. Truman Finalist, and was selected for the 2003 HUB Hall of Fame Student Activities, the highest UW award for student involvement.

David plans to continue his education eventually pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Geography and sees himself eventually returning to the academy to teach and do research.

2002 - 2003

Allison Van, Nominee

Biology and Community & Environmental Planning major

Gretchen Kiefer, Nominee

Jasmin Weaver, Scholar

Community & Environmental Planning (CEP), Philosophy, and Political Science major

From the Mitchell Scholars’ profile page: Jasmin Weaver is the Executive VP for Civic Ventures, working to bring about change in Seattle, Washington. Prior to that, she served for several years as Deputy Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations for the city of Seattle, where Jasmin and her colleagues coordinated and facilitated the interactions of city representatives, such as the Mayor and City Council Members, with other governments, be they international, state, federal or tribal. Jasmin is a 2004 Mitchell Scholar. She received a Master’s Degree in Equality Studies from UCD. During her scholarship year, Jasmin wanted to research the experience of women in politics and thanks to the US-Ireland Alliance had the opportunity to interview Tánaiste Mary Harney (Deputy Prime Minister) as well as participating in a healthcare research project run by her office. Studying equality in society cemented Jasmin’s desire to be involved in public service. On her return to the US, she completed a Master’s Degree in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Jasmin obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in Seattle.

2001 - 2002

Matt Alexander, Scholar

Psychology major, Public Health & Community Medicine minor

From the Mitchell Scholars’ profile page: Matt Alexander is the co-founder and CEO of Suyo, a social enterprise that formalizes property rights for low-income families through innovations in technology and microfinance partnerships. Matt has been building social impact companies in Latin America for over fifteen years. He is the founder and chairman of Ahmsa, an organization that alleviates poverty by fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in marginalized communities in Colombia. After founding Ahmsa, Matt served as Mercy Corps’ Regional Program Manager for Latin America, spearheading a regional strategy focused on land conflict resolution and property formalization for indigenous and low-income communities. Matt’s ideas for combining technology and property rights earned him recognition as an Echoing Green Fellow, Ashoka Changemaker, Harvard Innovation Lab Resident, American Express Emerging Innovator and Agora Accelerator Entrepreneur. Matt is a 2003 Mitchell Scholar. He received a Master’s Degree in Peace & Conflict Studies from the University of Ulster. Having spent time working with refugees on the border between Colombia and Ecuador, Matt wanted to study how other countries transitioned from armed conflict to peaceful dialogue. Matt obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Elizabeth Angell, selected but declined

History and International Studies major

Elizabeth Angell

A Bainbridge Island native, Elizabeth Angell was an early entry student at the University of Washington who double-majored in International Studies and History. At Oxford, she studied modern history and earned a Masters in Philosophy in Middle East studies. She was particularly interested in modern Turkish history and the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the modern Turkish state. After Oxford, Angell lived and worked in Turkey, and attended the American Research Institute in Turkey. When she returned to the U.S. she started working for Open Society Institute, a private operating and grantmaking foundation created by George Soros that aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. Eventually, Angell plans to get a Ph.D. in International Studies or History and teach.

Rory O’Sullivan, Nominee

Lael Weiss, Nominee

2000 - 2001

Dawn Hewett, Scholar

International Studies Latin American Studies, and Political Science major

From the Mitchell Scholars’ profile page: Dawn works at Quinn Emanuel as Counsel in the international arbitration group, where she represents investors in international investment disputes. Dawn served in the Obama Administration as the Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives for the U.S. Department of Commerce. At Commerce, she handled a broad range of legal issues including anticorruption, commercial rule of law, appellate litigation, trade and investment, export controls, digital economy, responsible business conduct, cybersecurity, and privacy. Before entering government, Dawn was an attorney at Arnold & Porter LLP where she was member of the firm’s international arbitration, litigation, global anticorruption, and white collar practice groups and on the firm’s Pro Bono Immigration Committee. Dawn is a 2002 Mitchell Scholar. She received an M.Phil in Ethnic and Racial Studies from Trinity. While studying in Ireland Dawn interned with the human rights organization Front Line Defenders, helping to organize a conference at Dublin Castle attended by delegates from 77 countries. Following her studies in Ireland, Dawn attended the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Yale Law School and worked on post-conflict issues in Sierra Leone, the D.R.C. and Cambodia. Dawn obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Conor Kleweno, Nominee