Shea Rathbun Earns Kanders Churchill Scholarship

Wednesday, 20 December 2023

Recent civil engineering graduate Shea Rathbun has been awarded a Kanders Churchill Scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge in 2024.

Rathbun is one of only two students selected each year for the prestigious scholarship to study science policy. The scholarship is for one year of master’s study and covers tuition, roundtrip airfare to the UK, visa fees, and a stipend.

 “I am so honored to not only have the opportunity to study at the University of Cambridge but to have my studies funded by the Kanders Churchill Scholarship,” Rathbun said. “I truly feel my interests and vision for my career embody the purpose of this scholarship, incorporating public policy considerations into STEM, so I am thrilled that the scholarship board recognized my passion for science policy and afforded me this opportunity.”

Principal Academic Professional Lisa Rosenstein is the director of the Charles E. Gearing Program in Engineering Communication and was an instructor in three classes with Rathbun.

A portrait of Shea Rathbun

Rosenstein said Rathbun’s class projects demonstrated her passion for sustainability. Rathbun analyzed a tidal power plant—a relatively new sustainable technology; created a fictional engineering company that addressed brownfield remediation; and designed a footbridge in Eswatini that would help people cross a dangerous and sometimes deadly river.

“Together, these projects create a coherent narrative of someone thoroughly committed to helping improve the world — whether that means by finding sustainable solutions to global grand challenges or by addressing local, quality-of-life challenges,” Rosenstein said.

Following her studies at Cambridge, Rathbun plans to return to consulting with an expanded perspective on the relationship between engineering and policy.

“I believe sustainability begins on the corporate scale, so I’m excited to help governments and businesses develop comprehensive, ethical policies that meet the needs of the present without compromising our collective future,” Rathbun said.