Loudonville, N.Y. resident Paul Sonne, a Columbia College senior, has recently been awarded a Marshall Scholarship, which gives American students the opportunity to study in the United Kingdom at any university of their choice for a term of two years. Sonne marks the first Columbia student to win the scholarship since 2001. The competition for the Marshall Scholarship, granted annually, is one of the most selective in higher education. This year, 43 scholars were chosen from 968 applicants.
“The Marshall Scholarship is not only an exceptional honor but a wonderful opportunity for students to receive an international education and experience,” said Kathryn Yatrakis, dean of academic affairs at Columbia College. “We are delighted that Paul has achieved what it takes to receive this scholarship and wish him the very best in his future educational and career endeavors.”
Sonne, a Russian language and literature major, plans to pursue a graduate degree in Russian and Eastern European studies at Oxford University. Founding editor-in-chief of The Birch, a journal of East European and Eurasian culture, and current editor-in-chief of the Columbia Political Review, Sonne has worked for The New York Times’ Moscow bureau, the United Nations and the office of President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi, Georgia. He intends to purse a career as a foreign correspondent, author and editor.
The Marshall Scholarship funds university fees, cost of living expenses, an annual book grant, a thesis grant, research and daily travel grants and fares to and from the United States. Established in 1953, the scholarships were created by an Act of Parliament as a gesture of thanks to the U.S. for its assistance in rebuilding Europe after World War II. Since its inception, more than 1,400 students have studied in Great Britain thanks to the generosity of the scholarship.