Triple science major awarded United Kingdom scholarship


Photo courtesy of Jennifer Mills

Weinberg senior Jennifer Mills was named a Marshall Scholar on Thursday. She is a triple science major at Northwestern.

Sophia Bollag, Reporter

A Weinberg senior has been awarded a competitive scholarship for two years of graduate study in the United Kingdom.

Triple science major Jennifer Mills was one of 34 U.S. students named 2013 Marshall Scholars on Tuesday. The scholarship allows American students to pursue two years of graduate research in any field at any university in the U.K.

Mills applied for the scholarship in October. The Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission notified her that she had won in early November after her interview.

Mills, who is a chemistry, earth science and integrated science major and a physics minor, said she plans to study for the first year at the University of Cambridge in England and for the second year at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. During the two years, she will continue the type of research she is currently doing in Northwestern earth and planetary science Prof. Brad Sageman’s lab.

“She wants to devote her scientific work to solving a major problem facing humanity, which is climate change,” Sageman said.

At the University of Cambridge, Mills will continue academic research in the subject.

“The earth science department at Cambridge is probably the best in the world,” she said. “I’m very interested in the specific project I’ll be working on.”

That project involves studying the global carbon cycle in order to learn about the history of climate change to understand the way it will affect the earth in the near future.

“What Jenny has done as an undergraduate at Northwestern is dip her feet into the puddle of doing paleo-climate research in our research group,” Sageman said. “What she’s seeking to do at Cambridge is continue that kind of work but perhaps also consider its application to modern environments.”

At the University of Edinburgh, Mills says she will pursue a different aspect of climate-change research: the legal one.

“I’m also interested in the policy side of things,” she said. “I’d like to enhance my background and improve my knowledge of the economics and policy side of climate.”

At Edinburgh, she will earn an LL.M., or Master of Laws, a postgraduate degree focusing on a law in a specific field, according to the Master of Laws Programs Worldwide website.

After her studies in the U.K., Mills says she plans to return to the U.S. to earn her doctorate. Ultimately, she would like to work in academia, she said.

“I’m a researcher at heart,” Mills said, laughing. “I always am, and I always will be.”

Sageman said he expects Mills to make important contributions to the field in the future.

“Her academic path is going to take her in who-knows-what directions, but one thing I can say for sure is I’ll be keeping my eyes open because Jenny Mills is going to be in the headlines,” he said. “She’s going to do exciting and fundamental things in the future. I’m confident of it.”