Kennedy Crowder and Chinaza Ruth Okonkwo, graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, have been named 2022 Marshall Fellows. Established by the UK government, the Marshall Scholarship funds up to three years of study for a graduate degree in n ‘ any field in an institution in UK.
Ms. Crowder and Mx. Okonkwo is one of 41 Marshall Fellows for 2022 representing 33 institutions in the United States, chosen from among 1,000 applicants. The prestigious scholarship, intended to strengthen US-UK relations, is offered to as many as 50 Americans each year.
Ms. Crowder, from Landenberg, Pa., Is majoring in English, a minor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations with a concentration in Japanese, and graduating 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, classroom integrated writing teacher, Robeson High School Initiative teacher, and program developer at Penn’s Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing. She is editor-in-chief of Penn Journal of Undergraduate Law, editor-in-chief of F-Word magazine, and an editor of Penn magazine literary review. In the summer of 2020, she created the Black Penn English collective, a space for discussion and support for black members of the English department. Ms. Crowder is the first recipient of the English Department Community Award and is part of the English Honors Program. An advocate for 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 Fellowship Program, and President of Community Services of the Onyx Senior Honor Society. Ms Crowder plans to pursue a Masters in Black Humanities at the University of Bristol and a Masters in English and related Literature at the University of York.
Mx. Okonkwo, of Los Angeles, is majoring in Philosophy and History at the College of Arts and Sciences with a concentration in Moral and Political Philosophy and World History and minors in African Studies; studies on gender, sexuality and women; and Native American and Native Studies. They have enrolled in the Masters of Philosophy program and will also receive their Masters after graduation in May. Mx. Okonkwo is a 2021 Beinecke Fellow, 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 Fellow and a Benjamin Franklin scholar. They have carried out extensive research in the humanities and social sciences throughout their careers at Penn. Mx. Okonkwo’s current independent research project on Igbo Philosophy aims to explore Igbo metaphysics and epistemology and to reshape the understanding of indigeneity as it relates to Africa. They are also interested in Igbo political philosophy and institutions and the history of the Igbo women’s war. They were editors of the Penn history review, a peer research advisor and the founder of a digital radical reading collective. Mx. Okonkwo plans to earn a BPhil and a DPhil in Philosophy from the University of Oxford.
Ms. Crowder and Mx. Okonkwo applied for the Marshall Fellowship with assistance from the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. Penn has had 21 Marshall Fellows since the inception of the exchange in 1953 and seven in the past four years.