For Michael C. George ’14-’15 and Anna A. Hagen ’15, two of this year’s Harvard recipients of Marshall Scholarships, the chance for post-graduate studies in the United Kingdom is both surprising and humbling.
George, a Quincy House government concentrator and an inactive Crimson News Editor, plans to pursue graduate studies in comparative social policy at the University of Oxford and the economic history of development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Hagen, a Lowell House English concentrator, intends to study contemporary English literature at the University of Cambridge and will likely study directing at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Created after World War II by the British Parliament, the Marshall Scholarship is awarded to around 40 American students each year to fund post-graduate study in the United Kingdom.
George, who was born in Honolulu and raised in the Philippines before moving to Malaysia to attend high school, said his work with several professors and mentors and various extracurricular experiences helped him discover a passion for development policy. During his time at Harvard, he took a semester off to work at the National Economic Council at the White House.
“I’m very interested in social mobility and inequality in the United States,” George said. “Trying to figure out what innovative policy can do to try to fix this eternal problem [of poverty in the United States] is fascinating to me.”
For Brooklyn native Hagen, life at Harvard has centered around delving into the English language. On campus, Hagen directs plays and has pursued a love for storytelling through her senior thesis, which will be a collection of short stories.
“The whole time I’ve been here, it’s all been about doing what I love to do,” Hagen said.
To Hagen, who hopes to eventually direct theater and write fiction, the Marshall Scholarship is an opportunity to continue that work.
“This scholarship gives me a chance to keep on thinking in a rigorous way for the next couple years, and also to have the space and the time to keep exploring fiction,” she said.
Hagen is quick to point out the impact that Harvard has had on her success.
“I’m so indebted to the English department faculty and to my friends here. There are some people who have really changed my life by showing me these beautiful pieces of literature that have changed me forever,” she said.
Reflecting on his selection for the scholarship, George is still in awe.
“When you think about the fact that you’re selected as a group of 31 out of 1,000 applicants, you feel really blessed and honestly overwhelmed,” he said.
“I feel so lucky,” echoed Hagen.
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