Boston College Lands Two Marshall Scholarships

Dec 01, 2008, 00:01 ET from Boston College

Advocate for Refugee Rights and Aspiring Philosophy Scholar/Teacher

Win Two of 40 Prestigious Awards for Graduate Study in U.K.

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Boston College 2008 graduate Kuong Ly, whose roots in a Southeast Asia refugee camp inspired his focus on human rights advocacy, and senior Robert J. Kubala, who aspires to follow his grandfather's footsteps as a scholar and teacher of philosophy, are two of only 40 students to win prestigious George Marshall Scholarships, which support graduate-level study in the United Kingdom.

American students of the highest academic ability are selected annually for the two-year awards. Candidates are selected for distinction in intellect and character -- as evidenced by scholarly achievement, outstanding activities, leadership and interests -- and are judged on the strength of their proposed study.

"The George Marshall Scholarship is a coveted mark of distinction, given that only 40 of them are awarded throughout the United States," said Boston College Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs Donald Hafner, director of the University's Fellowships Committee. "The awards are highly competitive, and underscore not only the caliber and dedication of BC undergraduates, but also Boston College's commitment to helping qualified students pursue these valuable opportunities."

A resident of Woburn, Mass., Kuong Ly already has been nationally recognized for multiple humanitarian efforts in Boston and abroad. His achievements while at BC, which include a Truman Scholarship and a place on USA Today's All-USA College Academic First Team, have been earned through his work to promote the plight of marginalized people, particularly the trauma suffered by refugees and displaced persons -- a cause close to his heart. Ly was born in Vietnam to parents who had fled Cambodia's "killing fields" in the late 1970s. His family migrated from refugee camps throughout Southeast Asia before finding political asylum in the U.S. He will use his Marshall award to study issues of forced migration and refugee care at either Oxford or the University of Essex.

Robert J. Kubala of Austin, Texas, is a member of BC's Presidential Scholars Program and College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, a two-time winner of advanced study awards from the University, senior editor for philosophy and theology at BC's undergraduate essay journal, and a volunteer on service trips to the Gulf Coast and as a tutor at Massachusetts' Suffolk County House of Correction. He aspires to follow in his grandfather's footsteps as a philosophy professor and scholar, and plans to use the Marshall award to enroll at St. Andrews University in Scotland and study for his master's degree.

The awards to Kubala and Ly bring to five the number of Marshall winners from Boston College over the last decade, enhancing an increasing trajectory of success among BC students in winning prestigious national awards, which over that time period include two Rhodes Scholarships, two Churchill Scholarships, five Mellon Scholarships, seven Truman Scholarships, 10 Goldwater Scholarships, 13 Beckman Scholarships and 128 undergraduate Fulbright awards, among others.

SOURCE Boston College