Penn students and alumni receive Gates Scholarships and Thouron Awards

Jacquie Posey

Two Penn seniors and a recent Penn alumna have been named Gates Cambridge Scholarship winners, placing them among 29 students from the United States slated to begin graduate studies at the University of Cambridge in England in October.

College senior Donielle Johnson, from Alexandria, Va., who is studying psychology and the biological basis of behavior, will pursue an M.Phil. in medical sciences, focusing on autism in children. Jill Portnoy, a College senior from Pittsburgh majoring in criminology and Hispanic studies, will pursue an M.Phil. in criminological research. Amanda Marzullo, from Austin, Texas, who received a law degree and a master’s in criminology at Penn in 2008, will pursue an LLM in law through the Gates Scholarship program.

Two additional Penn students and a 2007 alumnus will also travel to the United Kingdom to study as recipients of the Thouron Awards. The awards are part of an exchange program between Penn and British universities established in 1960 by the late Sir John Thouron and the late Lady Thouron, Esther du Pont, of Unionville, Pa.

Samuel Levine, a senior in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, will use the Thouron Award to study at the London School of Economics and Political Science. College senior and math major Stefan Sabo, who sub-matriculated into Penn’s master’s of math program, will use the award to study at Cambridge University. College alumnus and Fulbright Scholar Veyom Bahl, who graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, will use the award to pursue a master’s degree at University College London.

The students worked through Penn’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, where they found advice and guidance about the application process. “The best part about my job is that I get to celebrate with the winners of these fellowships,” says CURF Director Harriet Joseph. “But more importantly, I get to work with truly committed and interesting students.”

Originally published on February 16, 2010