William & Mary senior Clare Heinbaugh has been awarded a Marshall Scholarship to begin her graduate studies in the United Kingdom next year, which is also the 70th anniversary of the prestigious scholarship program.

According to a press release, only 40 undergraduate students or recent alumni from American universities were selected for the honor this year from a pool of 951 applicants. 

They include accomplished authors, astrophysicists, human rights advocates and COVID-19 researchers, the release says, and 85% of them intend to pursue public service careers in the U.S. following their time in the United Kingdom. 

Heinbaugh, a computer science major and Stamps 1693 Scholar at W&M, will use the scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in machine learning and artificial intelligence at the University of Cambridge followed by a master’s degree in human-computer interaction at University College London. 

“I am so grateful to the William & Mary community for providing countless opportunities that led to this accomplishment,” said Heinbaugh. “I especially want to thank the 1693 Scholars program and my advisors Professor Dan Cristol and Kim Van Deusen for their support throughout my time in college. I look forward to studying machine learning and human-computer interaction in England over the next two years.”

According to the British Embassy release, Heinbaugh led the development of W&M’s Campus Escort app, which allows students to access on-campus transportation at night. She also has won over a dozen awards at hackathons at such universities as Oxford, Georgetown, Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth. 

Last year, she was part of a three-person team from W&M to earn the title of “outstanding winner” in the international Mathematical Contest in Modeling directed by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Application, a nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of mathematics education for all ages. The team was also named among the top four in the entire competition, earning them the International COMAP Scholarship Award, a $9,000 scholarship to be split among the team members and $1,000 awarded to the school represented. 

The Marshall Scholarship program was created by an Act of British Parliament in 1953 in gratitude to former U.S. Secretary of State Gen. George Marshall and the United States for their assistance under the Marshall Plan. Since that time, more than 2,200 Americans have received the scholarships.

W&M Law Dean A. Benjamin Spencer received a Marshall Scholarship in 1996 as an undergraduate. The last known time that a W&M student received a Marshall Scholarship was in 2007.

Current W&M students and recent alumni interested in applying for a Marshall Scholarship should contact the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

, Senior Associate Director of University News