Sponsored by the US-Ireland Alliance, the scholarship covers tuition, accommodations, a living-expense stipend and an international travel stipend.
Hussey, from Windsor Locks, Conn., was selected from among a pool of nearly 300 applicants to join the 2015 class of Mitchell Scholars. She intends to use the scholarship to pursue a master of science degree in global health focusing on international aspects of disability services at Trinity College Dublin.
“I'm incredibly honored and could not be more excited to have the opportunity to study in Ireland next year,” Hussey said. “I'm also very thankful to my family, friends and faculty and staff at Penn who supported me and mentored me through this process.”
This is the first time that a Penn graduate has won the Mitchell Scholarship since the establishment of Penn’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.
Hussey earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations and political science from Penn. She conducted research on the 1980-81 Northern Ireland hunger strikes with Brendan O’Leary, Lauder Professor of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences.
As an undergraduate, Hussey conducted research in London, Belfast and Dublin and also spent a summer interning with the Ministry of Health in Botswana.
Having a sister with autism fueled her desire to advocate to bring disability issues onto the international development agenda. At Penn, she was involved in research at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy and the Graduate School of Education and at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania Center for Autism Research, where she helped develop the curriculum for a freshman seminar about autism.
During the 2012-13 academic year, Hussey was a Fulbright Scholar at Beijing Normal University in China conducting research on programs and services for adolescents and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.
She is currently an international fellow for the Mosaic Collaborative for Disabilities Policy and Practice in Moshi, Tanzania. Her work includes developing programming at neighborhood therapy centers for children with disabilities and developing partnerships with local schools and hospitals for inclusive education and preventive health care.
The Mitchell Scholarship is named for George J. Mitchell, a former United States senator from Maine who was President Clinton’s special envoy for Northern Ireland and had an instrumental role in the peace process there.