Two seniors, both women, win Churchill Scholarships for work in STEM
Yale seniors Jasmine Stone and Catherine Lee are among the 16 students nationwide who have been awarded Churchill Scholarships.
Churchill Scholars, selected by the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States, support one year of master’s degree study at Churchill College in the University of Cambridge. The awards are given to American students in the fields of mathematics, science, and engineering. In addition, the foundation awards the Kanders Churchill Scholarship in Science Policy, for master’s-level study in public policy. The 2020-2021 cohort of includes 15 Churchill Scholars and one Kanders Churchill Scholar.
The award covers full tuition, a stipend, travel costs, and the chance to apply for a $2,000 research grant. This year’s scholars were chosen from 127 nominees from 82 participating institutions. Both of those numbers are the highest-ever in the history of the award, which was established in 1963. The most popular department to which nominees applied, as it is most years, was mathematics, with 31 applicants. Women represented 35% of the nominees and 40% of the winners.
“It is rare for a university to receive two Churchill Scholars in one year, so this is a wonderful honor for Jasmine and Catherine, and a superb reflection of the outstanding STEM education and research possibilities at Yale,” said Rebekah Westphal, assistant dean and director of fellowships. “It’s also great that both scholars are women as we continue to celebrate 50WomenatYale150!”
Lee, of Grace Hopper College, is pursuing a combined B.S. and M.S. in mathematics at Yale. Her primary interests lie in algebraic geometry and topology. She has completed projects on mirror symmetry and characteristic classes, and authored research papers. She served as president of the Yale Undergraduate Math Society, where she worked to promote equity and accessibility in mathematics, and was editor-in-chief of Brink, an academic book review. She has received the Goldwater Scholarship, the mathematic department’s John Alan Lewis Prize for independent summer research, and an honorable mention in the Van Sinderen Book Collecting Prize competition. At the University of Cambridge, she will pursue a Master of Advanced Study in pure mathematics.
Stone, of Saybrook College, is majoring in computer science. She has conducted neuroscience research in faculty labs on campus and has interned at CTRL-Labs, Google, and Janelia. She also has won a Goldwater Scholarship, and is a finalist for a 2020 Hertz Foundation fellowship. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she is on the Yale women’s water polo club team and the Yale club synchronized swimming team, and is a violinist with the Yale Symphony Orchestra. At Cambridge, she will pursue a research master’s in engineering with Guillaume Hennequin.
Churchill College was established in 1960 as a predominantly science and technology college as a national and commonwealth memorial to Sir Winston Churchill. The scholarship fulfills Winston Churchill’s wish that there always be American students of the highest caliber at the college that bears his name. Yale students who wish to apply for the Churchill Scholarship must be nominated by the university. Deadlines are in early October for the campus nomination process, which is run through the Office of Fellowships and Funding.