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Senior nabs Churchill scholarship

Irena Zajickova | Friday, March 20, 2009

Senior Andrew Manion is the first Notre Dame student to receive a Winston Churchill scholarship, which sponsors graduate work at the University of Cambridge in England next fall.

The one-year award is worth approximately $50,000 and is given to students planning to pursue graduate studies in science, engineering or mathematics.

Manion is one of 14 students nationwide to win the award.

A math, music theory and history major from Coon Rapids, Minn., Manion said he plans to use his year in Cambridge to participate in the math courses and earn a certificate of advanced study in mathematics.

Manion said he learned of the Churchill scholarship through Notre Dame’s Fellowship Office and then completed the application, which consisted of applying to the University of Cambridge independently of the scholarship. He said he then applied for the Churchill scholarship after acceptance into Cambridge.

Manion said he plans to return to the United States after his year abroad.

“I want to come back to the U.S. for a Ph.D. program,” Manion said.

He said he is undecided about where he would like to pursue his doctorate.

Manion was excited when he found out he won the scholarship and is looking forward to beginning his studies at Cambridge.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Manion said. “I’ve heard really good things about the program and I’m excited to be at Cambridge.”

Besides the educational opportunity, Manion said he was drawn to the program because he was unable to participate in a study abroad program while attending Notre Dame.

“It’s a chance to live in another country since I didn’t get to study abroad,” he said. “Because of scheduling, it would have been difficult for me to study abroad and still complete my major requirements on time.”

While overseas, Manion said he plans to use his free time to experience the diverse travel opportunities that a year in England will provide.

“I want to go all over Europe,” he said.

Manion said his music background will play a part in his travel plans.

“Being a music major, I want to see the music stuff,” he said. “Go see Salzburg and Vienna, where all the composers were.”

The program begins on Oct. 1, 2009. Manion said he plans to leave for Cambridge several weeks ahead of time to be able to get acclimated to life in Europe and do some traveling before his classes begin and he is burdened by a heavy workload.

The Churchill scholarship includes fully paid tuition to the University of Cambridge as well as a stipend.

The stipend can be used to pay for housing, which is also organized through the Churchill program. The leftover stipend money is Manion’s to use for food, travel expenses and any other costs he may incur while in England.

Despite his excitement, Manion said that there are aspects of life in the United States that he will be sad to leave behind.

“I’ll miss Notre Dame football games,” he said. “And I’ll definitely miss my family.”