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Two Harvard Alumni Awarded Fulbright Scholarships

By Mark R. Jahnke, Contributing Writer

Two Harvard College alumni were awarded Fulbright scholarships to study in the United Kingdom this year, the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission announced Tuesday.

Trevor J. Bakker ’10 and Kevin X. Liu ’11 joined 37 other scholars from universities in the United States in the exchange program of 168 individuals—the largest group that the program has awarded in 20 years.

Harvard has traditionally performed strongly in the Fulbright program. This year, there are 11 members of the Class of 2011 participating in the program around the world.

Liu, who was a mind, brain, and behavior neurobiology concentrator in Eliot House, entered a doctoral program in physiology, anatomy, and genetics at the University of Oxford.

According the award website, Bakker concentrated in social studies while at Harvard and entered a masters program in economics at University College in London.

“Honestly, I was very surprised and truly very honored to have been given the opportunity,” Liu said in an email to The Crimson. “I found a program at Oxford that would continue my research interests in neurobiology. In particular, I will be working on a project looking at the role of oxidative stress in neurodegenerative diseases.”

The U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Programme is a merit-based exchange program that offers scholarships in all fields of study at any university in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Approximately 700 application were nominated by the Center for International Education last winter as part of the six month application process.

The number of students accepted into the program varies from year to year, according to Michael Scott-Kline, the director of the program. The variation of acceptances depended on the national budgets of the United States and the United Kingdom as well as private sponsorships.

The 168 accepted was an increase of 24 percent from last year.

The program’s primary focus is on cultural exchange, Scott-Kline said.

“I was extremely excited to have the chance to come to the UK and learn from the British and other people from around the world on their views of race, class and other topics,” Liu wrote.

“I would highly recommend anyone who is interested to explore postgraduate fellowship opportunities because the process in itself can really help you learn more about yourself,” Liu added.

Natalie Stokes, another Harvard affiliate, was awarded a scholarship to pursue a masters degree in gender, violence and conflict at the University of York. Stokes graduated from Boston College and recently finished a post-baccalaureate premedical program at Harvard.

This article has been revised to reflect the following clarifications:

CLARIFICATIONS: November 3, 2011

The Nov. 3 article "Two Harvard Alumni Awarded Fulbright Scholarship" did not make clear the distinction between the United States-United Kingdom Fulbright Commission and the umbrella Fulbright Program. While three Harvard alumni were awarded scholarships through the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission,  the total number of Harvard Fulbright recipients was higher.

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