HCUK Campus Celebrity: Dahlia d'Arge

 

Name: Dahlia d'Arge

Age: 23

Year: First year master's student at the University of Glasgow

Major: History

Hometown: Paris, Ky.

Campus Celeb Status: UK's third-ever Marshall Scholar

 

Her Campus: How and why did you first apply to be a Marshall Scholar?

Dahlia d'Arge: It all began my freshmen year when LTC Jason Cummins (ret.), the UK Army ROTC professor of military science at the time, asked me if I would be interested in applying for graduate school. I said "yes" and he then put me in touch with Dr. Patricia Whitlow, the director of nationally competitive awards at UK. Over three years, she helped me to research scholarships, to explore volunteer opportunities in the community and encouraged me to consider the Marshall Scholarship. The scholarship seeks to continue the special relationship between the USA and the UK by providing scholarships to students from all over the U.S. to study in the United Kingdom, and it is in honor of Gen. George C. Marshall and the Marshall Plan. I very much believe that this relationship is very important to the futures of both nations and to our combined global interests. It also is a very unique opportunity to study at some of the best universities in the world, and to develop a much better understanding of the people and culture of the United Kingdom. I began the application process in September 2014 by submitting an application to the UK selection committee. Once selected at that level, my application was submitted for review by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission. By the end of October, I had received word that I had been selected for the final round of interviews in my region. My final interview occurred in November in Chicago and I was alerted by December that I had been selected as a [Marshall] Scholar. It was truly a dream come true!

 

HC: What are your responsibilities as a Marshall Scholar?

DdA: As a Marshall Scholar, I am expected to be an unofficial ambassador for the USA while studying in the UK, to excel in my studies, and to learn as much as I can about the people and history of the United Kingdom. Upon returning to the USA, it is expected that I will use my experiences in the UK to help foster a stronger relationship between our two nations and to also use my education to work for a better world. The Marshall Plan helped the UK to recover after World War II, and its creators are credited with the building of the special relationship between the USA and the UK. The commission hopes that the scholars will use their British education to pursue objectives that assist people throughout the world, as well as in both nations.

 

HC: Where and what field are you studying in the United Kingdom?

DdA: I am studying for an MLitt in war studies at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

 

HC: What has been the most rewarding about being a Marshall Scholar so far?

DdA: I have only just begun my scholar experience, so I am sure that my response to this question will change over time. However, the most rewarding part of being a Marshall Scholar so far has been meeting and speaking with my fellow scholars and studying in Glasgow. The other Marshall Scholars are all incredibly gifted and have experience in a huge variety of subjects. Some would assume that such gifts would create arrogance or snobbishness in a person. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Kindness, openness and compassion are all very common traits among the scholar classes, and make our gatherings so very wonderful!  My studies in Glasgow have similarly introduced me to a fantastic group of people in the war studies and history departments at the University of Glasgow, and have challenged to rethink my understanding of war. The entire experience thus far has been hugely rewarding and is helping me to find my purpose in this world.

 

HC: What has been the most challenging aspect as a Marshall Scholar?

DdA: The most challenging part of being a new Marshall Scholar has been getting used to living in a different country. Although we have a lot in common with our British allies, there are many cultural differences which become more apparent the longer I am here. My British classmates and I have frequent discussions about these differences and it is allowing me to understand a different perspective on the world. Having this new perspective helps me to examine my own opinions and re-evaluate, if need be.

 

HC: What advice do you have for students at UK thinking about applying to be a Marshall Scholar?

DdA: If you are thinking of applying for the Marshall Scholarship, I would start by writing a journal. The scholarship process will ask you to talk about why you are who you are today and where you want to go with your life, along with other very complex questions. Writing in a journal, whether it be electronic or traditional pen and paper, helps you to explore yourself and to answer those tough questions. And, begin reading widely. Examine subjects outside of your normal interests and outside of your knowledge base. It is always good to be a well-rounded student and both of these actions will help in ways beyond just applying for the Marshall Scholarship. You never know where you may find your passion until you start looking inward at yourself and at the world beyond day-to-day worries. Even more importantly, never undervalue yourself or give up trying for opportunities like the Marshall Scholarship! It is always worth the effort, even if you don't succeed.

 

HC: How can students learn more about the Marshall Scholars?

DdA: You can find more information about the Marshall Scholarship at www.marshallscholarship.org and by contacting Dr. Patricia Whitlow at UK.