U Graduate Receives Prestigious Churchill Scholarship


University of Utah graduate Scott Neville received the prestigious Churchill Scholarship for 2018. Photo courtesy of the University of Utah.

By Claudia Robles

University of Utah graduate Scott Neville was recently awarded the Churchill Scholarship at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The Churchill Scholarship is a prestigious scholarship given only to 15 students in the U.S. this year and just three U graduates ever.

The scholarship provides funding for undergraduate American students to spend one year at the University of Cambridge. Students then work toward a Master’s degree in science, mathematics or engineering.

Neville, who studied mathematics at the U, is eager to realize his goal of furthering his education.

“This is a big opportunity for me, and I’m especially excited that I get to continue studying mathematics,” Neville said. “It also means I should have bigger and better opportunities in the future to study mathematics and receive my Ph.D. Ultimately, I hope to become a professor at a research university, and I think of this as a very big step in that direction”

He always considered himself good at math, but Neville didn’t think about studying it until he proved his first result as a senior in high school.

“It was already known, of course, but I had asked the particular question and managed to find a solution entirely by myself,” Neville said. “I was ecstatic.”

The application process for the Churchill Scholarship is different from others. Two applicants are allowed per invited school. Last spring, Neville was nominated by the U to apply. Included in the application was his resume, a personal statement and a proposed program of study at Cambridge. He was then asked to undergo an interview with a panel of professors.

Four professors at the U provided recommendation letters, and the application was completed by early October 2017. Neville then had a phone interview with a Churchill Foundation executive in early January, during which they discussed Cambridge, anthropology and some of his research projects. Shortly after, Neville was informed that he would receive the Churchill Scholarship.

After receiving his Master’s degree at Cambridge, he plans to work toward a Ph.D. In the meantime, though, Neville looks forward to studying at Cambridge and the experiences that will come with it.

“If all goes well, I will learn a great deal of new techniques, questions and examples,” Neville said. “I will also get to meet and work with more brilliant people.”

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