Two Harvard Marshall Scholars Headed for UK

Bok and Warsh win scholarship

Sara Joe Wolansky

Marshall Scholarship recipient Kenzie Bok '11, history concentrator in Pforzheimer House and president of the Institute of Politics, will study theology and intellectual history at the University of Cambridge.

Two Harvard seniors—P. Kenzie Bok ’11 and Jonathan U. Warsh ’11—were awarded the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, the University announced yesterday.

Warsh and Bok join 247 Harvard students who have been awarded the Marshall Scholarship since its founding in 1953. The scholarship funds two years of postgraduate study in the United Kingdom, with the possibility of a year-long extension.

Up to 40 American undergraduates are awarded the Marshall Scholarship every year. Applicants to the scholarship must have a minimum GPA of 3.7.

Warsh, a government concentrator with a secondary concentration in global health and health policy in Lowell House, said he learned of his award two weeks ago, after 24 hours of anxious waiting. Told that he would find out on Monday, Nov. 15, Warsh received an e-mail that evening telling him there had been a delay. On Tuesday, he received an e-mail confirming his scholarship.

“Well, I’m going to England,” he recalled telling his roommate. “And then we had lunch.”

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Warsh credits his work at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, where he is currently the administrative director, for exposing him to our “fragmented healthcare system.”

As a Marshall Scholar, he wants to learn how Europe has made strides to reduce inequalities in healthcare, and whether those methods can be applied in the United States.

In his first year, he will pursue a joint Master of Science at the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Afterwards, he is considering another year studying at LSHTM.

Bok, a Pforzheimer House history concentrator, is the president of the Institute of Politics.

She said she will use the scholarship to continue her research in intellectual history at the University of Cambridge.

In her first year, Bok will pursue a degree in theology. Afterwards, she said she will continue her studies in intellectual history and political thought.

“The two centers for the study of intellectual history are actually here at Harvard and at Cambridge,” she said.

Bok said she wants to explore whether secular ethics owe their beginnings to religious traditions.

“To really understand texts, you need to contextualize them,” she said, explaining that many secular political thinkers came from religious backgrounds.

Although she had known about the scholarship “sort of vaguely, for a long time,” Bok did not decide to apply until becoming invested in her senior thesis. She said advisors told her, “You may want to keep this on your horizon.”

After her interview in mid-November, she thought about “the 20 ways in which it had been unsuccessful” until getting the congratulatory call five days later.

“Given Kenzie’s interests in religion, intellectual history, and politics, the M.Phil. programs at Cambridge are ideal for her,” wrote her thesis adviser, History Professor James T. Kloppenberg, in an e-mail. “She has done very well balancing her multiple commitments at Harvard, and I believe she will flourish doing the same thing in the other Cambridge.”

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