Extraordinary news for Franklin/Grady College alumna Patricia Andrews Fearon, one of 36 Americans to be named a 2017 recipient of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which fully funds postgraduate study and research at the University of Cambridge:
The scholarship, which recognizes intellectually outstanding postgraduate students with a capacity for leadership and a commitment to improving the lives of others, was established by a gift from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Fearon is the seventh UGA student or alumnus to receive the award since it was first awarded in 2001.
"Patricia's achievement reflects the excellent preparation our students receive to compete for the most prestigious international scholarships," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. "The University of Georgia is proud that she is carrying on our land-grant tradition of applying her education to improve the lives of others around the world."
Fearon earned a bachelor's degree in religion from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2009 before going on to earn a master's degree in the study of religions from the University of Oxford. She studied social and cognitive psychology as a post-baccalaureate scholar at the University of California-Berkeley.
We refer back to this phrasing often, but also for a reason: students create a unique set of credentials on campus that paves the way for great contributions and broad opportunities. A religion degree paired with journalism, and later psychology, makes an invaluable combination. And while it may be easy to look back on her latest accomplishment and agree that the double major was a great idea, Fearon had the drive and confidence - and advisors, and professors, and parents - to make the decision and pursue the degrees. The more we can encourage students to make the most of the UGA learning environment, the richer that environment becomes. Congratulations, Patricia, and best of luck in your travels and your next set of adventures.
Image: The Peace Palace in the Hague, the Netherlands.