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Columbia College student wins prestigious Mitchell Scholarship

Monday, November 24, 2014

Daniel Listwa CC’15 has been selected as one of 12 recipients of the prestigious George J. Mitchell Scholarship. Mitchell Scholarships provide one year of postgraduate study in an Irish university in either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Listwa will pursue a Masters of Arts in Philosophy and Public Affairs at University College Dublin.

Daniel Listwa CC'15Daniel Listwa CC'15 Listwa, from East Brunswick, N.J., is a John Jay Scholar majoring in Economics-Philosophy and concentrating in Business Management. He serves as the assistant director of the K1 Project at Columbia University, a center he helped found that promotes informed debate about nuclear technologies to garner support for disarmament and sustainable energy policies. He is also editor-in-chief of The Columbia Economics Review and a founder of the associated online magazine In addition, he is also an editor of the Columbia Review and the Gadfly, and a member of the executive board of Koach, the traditional egalitarian Jewish community at Columbia. He is interested in studying government and the law in connection to policies that will advance a safe and sustainable future.

"I am excited to come face-to-face with the living laboratory that is Ireland, as the island’s post-conflict development continues to evolve," Listwa said. "Ireland’s unique history and recent past makes it the ideal location to study the relationship between public policy and political theory. I am looking forward to engaging with Ireland and the culturally rich city of Dublin and to being part of the Mitchell Scholars community."

The Mitchell Scholarship Program, named to honor former U.S. Senator George Mitchell's pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service. Applicants, who must be between 18 and 30, are judged on their scholarship, leadership, and sustained commitment to community and public service and spend a year of post-graduate study at institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Only four percent of candidates are accepted into the program.

"It is truly a privilege to participate in this program named in honor of former U.S. Senator George Mitchell," Listwa said. "Senator Mitchell’s success as the architect of the peace process in Northern Ireland is an inspiration for me as I look toward a career of public service." 

The scholarship is the flagship project of the non-profit US-Ireland Alliance, founded in 1998 by Trina Vargo, a former foreign policy adviser to Senator Ted Kennedy who was also heavily involved in the Northern Ireland peace process. The Mitchell Scholarship Program provides tuition, room and board, travel expenses, and a living stipend, worth more than $30,000 total. This year’s competition attracted 270 applicants for the 12 scholarships.

"We are very proud of Dan’s accomplishment in winning the Mitchell," said Scott Carpenter, associate dean of global education and fellowships. "Dan is the kind of student who will make the most of this opportunity. He has been a campus leader in a variety of contexts, as well as a thoughtful and compassionate student. He has been instrumental in building communities of different kinds during his time at Columbia and I’m sure he will be an asset to the rest of the Mitchell scholars and to his future classmates at University College Dublin. We are excited to see him honored with this award." 

Click here for more information about the Mitchell program and this year’s winners.