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Rice University
News Release
Monday, November 28, 2011

Rice University alumna named Mitchell Scholar
Rachel Carlson to study in Ireland 

HOUSTON – Rice University alumna Rachel Carlson of Battle Ground, Wash., is one of 12 recipients of the nationally competitive George J. Mitchell Scholarship. Carlson will use the scholarship to pursue her Master of Science in development at Trinity College in Dublin. 

Carlson graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2010 and a master's degree in civil and environmental engineering in 2011. At Rice, she served as co-president of Rice's Environmental Club for two years and as editor-in-chief of R2, Rice's creative writing journal. 

Through research projects in Houston and abroad, Carlson demonstrated her interest in integrating science and humanities in response to contemporary environmental problems. As a Century Scholar and Center for Civic Engagement Fellow, she conducted research on Houston's residential energy consumption and advised a panel of urban planners at the City of Houston mayor's office on strategies of managing homeowners' energy usage and recycling. Her senior thesis in English examined postcolonial narratives of large-scale hydropower projects in India. 

Currently in Senegal on a Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship, Carlson is undertaking a multidimensional analysis of the impact of dams on local villages. She aspires to bring her dual expertise in engineering and the humanities to address water security in sub-Saharan Africa.

Named to honor former U.S. Senator George Mitchell's contributions to the Northern Ireland peace process, the Mitchell Scholarship is designed to connect generations of future American leaders to Ireland and foster intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service. Up to 12 Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually from more than 300 applicants for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Applicants are judged on scholarship, leadership and a sustained commitment to community and public service.

For more information on the Mitchell Scholarship, click here. 

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