Byron Cohen '16 has been chosen by the US-Ireland Alliance as one of a select few George J. Mitchell Scholars following interviews in Washington, D.C. on November 20.
284 students applied for the national award for only 12 scholarships. Named in honor of the former Maine Senator’s contributions to the Northern Ireland peace process. Recipients are chosen on the basis of academic distinction, leadership and service and spend a year of post-graduate study at institutions of higher learning in Ireland. Cohen will study public health at University College Dublin.
Cohen, a native of Cambridge, Mass., is a dual major in International Relations and Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He spent a summer designing training curricula in organic agronomy, financial literacy and business skills for 40,000 smallholder farmer partners in Gulu, in northern Uganda. While there, Byron contracted Typhoid Fever, and learned that roughly one-third of Gulu's residents lack access to clean water. With support from local partners, he implemented the Gulu Clean Water Initiative, ensuring sustainable access to clean water for 5,000 impoverished and vulnerable residents. Byron and his local partners have since created Water & Health For All, a nonprofit that is building upon the work of the Gulu Clean Water Initiative.
Cohen also founded the Claremont Journal of Law & Public Policy and spent a summer tutoring inside San Quentin State Prison while exploring the impact of prison education programs with former prisoners.
The scholarship program is the flagship project of the US-Ireland Alliance, a non-partisan, non-profit organization founded in 1998 by Trina Vargo, a former foreign policy adviser to Senator Ted Kennedy.