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Five Northwestern Students Awarded Gates Scholarships

The scholarship winners are among 37 American students selected from among 752 candidates.

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February 9, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Gates Cambridge Trust has awarded Gates Cambridge Scholarships to five students who have completed or will complete their undergraduate studies at Northwestern University.

The scholarship winners are among 37 American students selected from among 752 candidates to pursue Masters or PhD degrees at the University of Cambridge from October 2009.

They are:
Braxton Boren (music/Class of 2008)
Kristin Buterbaugh (American Studies/Class of 2009)
David Dillon (German and chemistry/Class of 2008)
Victor Roy (political science, Honors Program in Medical Education/Class of 2007)
Chandler Robinson (chemistry and mathematics/Class of 2006)
(Robinson, mentored by Northwestern's Office of Fellowships, is currently enrolled at Stanford University.)

Northwestern, with four students who applied through the University, tied with Yale University for the schools with the most scholarship winners.

Braxton Boren of Pittsfield, Ill., attended Northwestern University as a music technology major. He researched interactive musical controllers, spatial hearing and reverberation systems. His research on video games and musical aptitude won the Outstanding Student Researcher Award at the 2007 College of Arts and Sciences Research Conference at Indiana University Northwest. Boren graduated as the valedictorian of the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music. At Cambridge, he will work toward an MPhil in Physics with Professor Malcolm Longair, modeling the acoustical response of twelve Renaissance Venetian churches. Previous analysis has shown correlations between objective physical data and notoriously ill-defined subjective acoustic terms. By applying both physical and psychoacoustic cross-correlation measures to our models, he hopes to better understand the complex connections between objective sound and subjective human perception. After completing the MPhil, Boren intends to pursue a PhD in Music Technology and become a college professor.

Kristin Buterbaugh of Pittsburgh, Penn., said her future as an obstetrician/gynecologist has been shaped by her hometown, known for its steel legacy and as a healthcare center. She is writing her honors thesis in American studies on the narratives of deindustrialization as represented through steel monuments. Her research has found that the untold trials of steelworkers parallel the stories of the immigrant women with whom she has interacted in hospital delivery rooms. Although she has received early acceptance in the Humanities and Medicine Program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, she wishes to understand the broad socio-political context in which patients and physicians interact before she tackles anatomy and physiology. At Cambridge, Buterbaugh will read for an MPhil in the History and Philosophy of Science. By examining the extent to which immigrant women are permitted to incorporate their own traditions within the United Kingdom's nationalized healthcare system, she hopes to gain perspective on the best means to reform immigrant healthcare in the US.

David Dillon of Portland, Ore., graduated from Northwestern with a double major in German and chemistry. He is currently living in Cordoba, Argentina as a medical volunteer. His main interest is in researching and applying simple and inexpensive infectious disease screening technologies across the globe. He ultimately aims to join an NGO such as Doctors without Borders or the World Health Organization, organizations that combine superb scientific research and direct patient contact. Dillon's previous work on the socio-economic grounds for failing healthcare systems, as well as the cutting edge technologies of small molecule-DNA hybrids and molecularly-imprinted polymers, has given him a strong basis for the multidisciplinary expertise necessary in such a job. Dillon intends to pair an American MD with an MPhil in Public Health, enabling him to understand both the clinical and the theoretical aspects of his future work.

Victor Roy of Bridgewater, N.J., graduated from Northwestern with a bachelor's degree in political science as a student in the Honors Program in Medical Education. For the past three years, he has served as the executive director of GlobeMed, a national organization that enables students and communities to work together and improve the health of the poor around the world. Roy has led GlobeMed's growth to 16 university chapters across the country and has worked with grassroots organizations in India, Guatemala, Rwanda, Ghana and Uganda. His interest in global health began in the summer of 2006 when he conducted research on the social networks of street children in Kolkata, India. Since age 10, he has performed the tabla, an Indian percussion instrument. Roy will pursue an MPhil in Modern Societies and Global Transformations, researching the impact of neoliberal economic policies on the public health of low and middle-income nations. He hopes to shape and advocate for policies aimed at realizing equity in global health.

Chandler Robinson of Columbus, Ohio, is currently pursuing an MD at Stanford Medical School and recently completed a United Kingdom Fulbright Scholarship studying international health policy and health economics at the London School of Economics. He received a bachelor's degree in mathematics and chemistry from Northwestern, where he spent three years conducting cancer research in Professor Thomas O'Halloran's laboratory. Robinson established a multi-university research symposium and a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to help support undergraduate research endeavors. His past experiences include working at an investment bank and a biotechnology company. He currently manages a free clinic in San Jose, Calif., and conducts medical errors research. Robinson also serves on the Executive Advisory Board of Northwestern's Chemistry of Life Processes Institute. His goal is to build a career dedicated to improving healthcare, focusing on smarter investment practices and more efficient organizational structuring to positively impact healthcare systems. He will use his Gates Cambridge scholarship to pursue an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship program is international in scope. The Trust awards scholarships to candidates from any country outside the United Kingdom. It differs from many overseas competitions in that the student must apply both to the university and to the Gates Foundation. Students must be accepted by Cambridge before they are allowed to accept a Gates.

This includes university and college fees, maintenance allowance sufficient for a single student, contribution toward return airfare, and other discretionary allowances.

Gates Scholars from around the world study a wide range of subjects: arts, science, humanities, social science, technology and medicine. They work with distinguished faculty and other exceptional students from different countries and cultures.