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British honor two UC Berkeley students with Marshall scholarships
18 Dec 2000

By Janet Gilmore, Media Relations

Berkeley - Two University of California, Berkeley, students - an environmental law scholar and a future doctor - have been awarded prestigious Marshall scholarships from the British government.

The students, Celina Yong and Cinnamon Gilbreath, are among six Californians and 40 students nationwide to receive the honor, considered one of the highest accolades for college students.

British Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer announced the scholarship awards today (Dec. 18). The Marshall scholarships were established in 1953 by Great Britain in gratitude to the United States for assistance it provided after World War II under the Marshall Plan.

The $50,000 scholarships cover tuition and living expenses while the students spend two years at any United Kingdom university of their choice. Study will begin in fall 2001.

Yong, a molecular environmental biology student at UC Berkeley, plans to pursue a doctorate degree in public health at Oxford University.

The 21-year-old was raised in Rohnert Park, Calif. She said she is deeply committed to public service and plans to become a primary care physician, policy maker and public health specialist.

Yong, currently a senior at UC Berkeley, is finishing a research project in which she studied the gastrointestinal tract system of small snails in the coral reefs off French Polynesia, exploring the relationship between the gastrointestinal tract and diet.

Gilbreath, a third-year law student at UC Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), plans to study for a master's in environmental change and management and a master's in law at Oxford University.

Gilbreath, raised in Waco, Texas, is planning a career in policy development in the international environmental arena. She said she hopes to work for an international environmental organization.

She is editor-in-chief of the law school's prestigious Ecology Law Quarterly, an environmental policy journal, and has been actively involved in K-12 volunteer work, teaching children about the environment.

Marshall scholarship winners are chosen based on factors that include their academic excellence, their potential to become leaders and their interest in society in general.

"Once again we have selected an exceptional group of American students to study as Marshall scholars at universities across the United Kingdom," said Meyer, the British ambassador. "I am sure that they will enjoy their time in the UK and as they rise to leadership positions in their chosen fields go on to enhance relations between our two countries."

Prominent former Marshall scholars include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Stanford University law school dean Kathleen Sullivan, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.