Recent UNT graduate among 160 finalists in U.S. for Marshall Scholarship

Marcelo Ostria
Marcelo Ostria
Tuesday, November 1, 2011

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Marcelo Ostria, a recent graduate of the University of North Texas, is one of 160 finalists in the U.S for 2012 Marshall Scholarships.

Considered to be among most prestigious postgraduate scholarships available to Americans who have recently received bachelor's degrees, the Marshall Scholarships fund two full years of study at any university in the United Kingdom. The scholarships vary in amount and cover university fees and living expenses, as well as provide funds for books, thesis study and research, and travel to and from the United Kingdom. No more than 40 applicants are selected for the scholarships each year.

Applicants for the Marshall Scholarships cannot have received their first undergraduate degrees from U.S. colleges and universities more than two years before applying, and must have received their degrees with grade point averages of 3.7 or higher. Nearly 1,000 students applied for the scholarships in 2010, with those selected representing approximately 4 percent of the applicants.

Twenty Marshall finalists are each selected from eight regions in October and interview with their region's selection committee in November. The finalists are assigned to a regional committee by the location of their hometowns.

Marshall Scholarship winners are selected for their potential to excel as scholars and leaders and as contributors to improved understanding between the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

Ostria, an Honors College student at UNT, received his bachelor's degree in international studies this past May, after receiving his bachelor's degree in political science in December 2010. He will interview for the Marshall Scholarship Nov. 7 before the Houston regional committee, which conducts interviews with finalists from Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico and Oklahoma as well as Texas.

In applying for the scholarship, Ostria received guidance from UNT's Marshall Scholarship Nominating and Mentoring Committee. Committee members are James Duban, director of UNT's Office for Nationally Competitive Scholarships; Amyn Amlani, associate professor of speech and hearing sciences; Edra Bogle, retired professor of English; Marjorie Hayes, associate professor of dance and theatre; Trent Petrie, professor of psychology; Tom Sovik, professor of music; and Lewis Taylor, Regents Professor of management.  

Duban said Ostria being named a finalist "is an immense honor for both Marcelo and for UNT."

"Only a small fraction of the nation's very best students ever make it to the finalist stage of Marshall Scholarship competition. That accomplishment speaks volumes about Marcelo, about his humanitarian outreach, and about the quality of his UNT education," Duban said.

Ostria is the son of Adenie Ostria of Flower Mound and Marcelo Ostria Trigo of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and a 2005 graduate of Flower Mound High School. He plans to study at Oxford University if he receives the scholarship, enrolling in the master's degree program in comparative social policy to prepare for an executive position with UNICEF or another organization that works with governments to create social policies that benefit people in need. Ostria said Oxford's Department of Social Policy and Intervention, which offers the degree, "regularly sponsors research on topics that have immense appeal for me, including poverty and the disadvantaged, social policy in developing countries, child development and government exclusion."

Ostria has been an active volunteer with UNICEF. As a UNT student, he established and directed the campus UNICEF chapter, which raised more than $25,000 for UNICEF's campaign against preventable childhood diseases. Ostria received the President's Volunteer  Service Award from the White House two years in a row and was named to the UNICEF Campus Initiative National Council and as co-coordinator of the 2009 UNICEF Leadership Summit for campus chapters.

He is the founding and chief editor of "The Child Survival Journal," which gives college and university students awareness and academic perspectives on child development issues in certain nations. The journal is on the website of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, a national organization that engages college and university students in activism that empowers them as leaders.

From August 2010 until this summer, Ostria studied at Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile, as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. He conducted research on child labor and poverty in Chile and Bolivia, and worked with a Chilean and a Texas Rotary Club chapter to initiate a $30,000 grant that will construct an English learning laboratory at an earthquake-damaged school south of Santiago.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108