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Marshall plans

23 October 2009

Rachel Kincaid and Christina Thatcher

Two American students who have won prestigious Marshall Scholarships have just started their studies at Cardiff.

Rachel Kincaid, from Ohio, will be taking an MA in Ethnomusicology at the School of Music. Christina Thatcher, from Pennsylvania, will be taking an MA in the Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing, run by the School of English, Communication and Philosophy.

A Marshall Scholarship is one of the highest honours a US undergraduate can win. Only 40 or so are awarded each year, allowing the most talented American students to undertake two years’ graduate study at the institutions of their choice in the UK.

Rachel, who has composed pieces for performance in the US, the UK and Germany is looking to study how people experience music, and also the importance of music in non-western cultures. She wants to understand better how to connect music with a wider audience in the US.

Christina, herself a writer of poetry, short stories and non-fiction, aims to establish creative arts foundations in deprived urban areas of the US. She will be researching the benefits of creative writing in UK secondary schools.

Both are looking forward to the coming year. Rachel said: "The other Marshall Scholars are an incredibly varied and gifted group of people and I feel extremely lucky that I have had the chance to know them." Christina said: "I have found Cardiff an incredibly welcoming, accommodating and very lively place to be."

Sandra Elliott, Director of the University’s Communications and International Relations Division, said: "It is a great tribute for the University to be host to two Marshall Scholars in one year. It is particularly thrilling that they are two such committed and dynamic individuals as Rachel and Christina."