Kennedy Crowder and Chinaza Ruth Okonkwo: Marshall Scholars


Kennedy Crowder and Chinaza Ruth Okonkwo: Marshall Scholars

Caption: Chinaza Ruth OkonkwoUniversity of Pennsylvania Seniors Kennedy Crowder and Chinaza Ruth Okonkwo have been named Marshall Scholars 2022. The UK Government-created Marshall Scholarship funds up to three years of study for a degree in any field at an institution in the UK.

Ms. Crowder and Mx. Okonkwo is one of 41 Marshall Scholars for 2022, representing 33 institutions in the United States and selected from 1,000 applicants. The prestigious scholarship, designed to strengthen ties between the US and the UK, is offered to up to 50 Americans each year.

Ms. Crowder, from Landenberg, Pennsylvania, majored in English, majored in East Asian Languages ​​and Civilizations, majored in Japanese, and earned a Certificate in American Sign Language from the College of Arts and Sciences. With an interest in critical and creative writing, Ms. Crowder is a peer tutor, an on-course writing scholar, a teacher with the Robeson High School Initiative, and a curriculum developer at Penn’s Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing. She is the editor-in-chief of Penn Undergraduate Law Journal, a managing editor of The F-Word magazine, and a managing editor of The Penn Review literary journal. In the summer of 2020 she founded the collective Black Penn English, a discussion room and support group for black members of the English department. Ms. Crowder is the first recipient of the English Department Community Award and is participating in the English Honors Program. An advocate of black academic excellence, she is a member of the Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and the Paul Robeson and Anna Julia Cooper Scholars Program, and the Chair of the Onyx Senior Honor Society’s charitable service. Ms. Crowder is planning a Masters in Black Humanities from the University of Bristol and a Masters in English and Related Literature from the University of York.

Mx. Okonkwo from Los Angeles is studying philosophy and history at the College of Arts and Sciences with a focus on moral and political philosophy and world history and minor subjects in Africana Studies; Gender, sexuality and women’s studies; and studies of Native American and Indigenous peoples. You have enrolled in the master’s program in philosophy and will receive your master’s degree when you graduate in May. Mx. Okonkwo is a beincke scholar 2021, Andrea Mitchell Center Undergraduate Fellow, Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow, Mellon Mays Research Fellow, Perry World House Student Fellow, Paul Robeson and Anna Julia Cooper Scholar and Benjamin Franklin Scholar. You have done extensive research in the humanities and social sciences during your Penn career. Mx. Okonkwo’s current independent research project on Igbo philosophy aims to explore Igbo metaphysics and epistemology and to reshape the understanding of indigenousness in relation to Africa. They are also interested in the political philosophy and institutions of the Igbo as well as the history of the Igbo women’s war. You were the editor of the Penn History Review, a peer academic advisor and founder of a digital radical reading collective. Mx. Okonkwo plans to earn a BPhil degree and a DPhil degree in philosophy from the University of Oxford.

Ms. Crowder and Mx. Okonkwo applied for the Marshall Fellowship with the support of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. Penn has had 21 Marshall Scholars since the fellowship’s inception in 1953 and seven in the past four years.


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