MISSOULA – Rebecca Boslough, a 2014 University of Montana graduate in resource conservation, has won the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. The award offers graduate study opportunities at British universities to about 30 young Americans each year who will serve as cultural ambassadors and as academic leaders in their chosen field of study.
Boslough intends to pursue a Master of Science degree in climate change and environmental policy at the University of Leeds, followed by a Master of Science degree in environmental and forest management at the University of Aberdeen.
“I can’t believe I’m headed off to the U.K. in the fall,” Boslough said. “This is an incredible opportunity – not only to study in top programs in environmental policy and forest sciences but also to engage with students, professors, scientists and policymakers in the U.K. about the challenges facing forest ecosystems and the communities that depend on them.”
Boslough will engage with an international network of researchers at the Priestley International Climate Centre in Leeds on the importance of forest management to climate adaptation and mitigation.
Named in honor of former U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, the scholarship was conceived to “commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan” and to “express the continuing gratitude of the British people to their American counterparts.”
The selection process is managed by the regional Consulates General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco, as well as in Washington, D.C., by the British Embassy. Boslough interviewed in the San Francisco Consulate. The scholarship covers university fees, cost of living expenses, books, a thesis grant, research and daily travel grants, fares to and from the United States and, where applicable, a contribution toward the support of a dependent spouse.
“I’ve received so much support while at UM, during postgrad and throughout this application process,” Boslough said. “My adviser, Laure Pengelly Drake, has been phenomenal, not only helping me to put together an authentic application, but to develop a clearer vision for my future.”
Boslough is a 2010 graduate of Capital High School in Helena, Montana. She is the daughter of Elaine Samuel of Helena and James Boslough of Loveland, Colorado.
Boslough majored in resource conservation at UM, with minors in wilderness studies and climate change studies. During her junior year, she won the Truman Scholarship for leadership in public service. The Truman Summer Program gave her the chance to serve as an intern for U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in his Washington, D.C., office. She currently serves with the U.S. Forest Service in D.C. as a Truman Albright Fellow. Her position includes work on climate and wilderness, as well as a national education program.
Following her graduation from UM, Boslough spent a year in Germany as a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholar, studying German and serving as a research assistant at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research and a writing intern at the Coastal Union Germany. During 2015-16, she served as an AmeriCorps Energy Corps member at two Missoula nonprofits: Climate Smart Missoula and Home ReSource.
Pengelly Drake, UM’s external scholarship coordinator, said Boslough won for many reasons, chief among them being she met all the complex, high-level requirements for Marshall Scholars, including academic merit and leadership and ambassadorial potential.
“Only about 3.5 percent of the applicants win this scholarship,” Pengelly Drake said. “Becca exhibited powerful commitment to and achievements in her field of resource conservation. She showed amazingly rich experience – from the local to the international – including science research and policy development and creative communication through art, as well as her record of imaginative, determined and compassionate relationships with all stakeholders in often-vexed land management negotiations. She is a leader in her field of study and an outstanding cultural ambassador, who stood out among other highly accomplished applicants.”
For more information on the Marshall Scholarship, visit http://www.marshallscholarship.org/.