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Bucks resident receives scholarship to study in U.K.


Two Duke University seniors, including one resident of Bucks County, are among the 48 recipients of the Marshall Scholarship.

Julie Uchitel of Southampton was among two students chosen from more than 1,000 applicants throughout the country.

Approximately 40 Marshall Scholarships are awarded each year to high-achieving American students to pursue post-graduate studies at any university in the United Kingdom in any field. The award covers all university fees, cost-of-living expenses and many other costs.

Uchitel, a neuroscience and French double major, has conducted both clinical and basic pediatric research since high school at Duke Children’s Hospital and at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Her research has resulted in two published scientific articles, three first-author papers in preparation and four additional papers in campus science journals.

At Duke, she is president of the Neuroscience Majors’ Union, and was the neuroscience department’s nominee for the Faculty Scholar Award, the highest honor given by faculty to students.

In addition to her academic interests in neuroscience, Uchitel has spent her time at Duke exploring the intersection of science and the humanities. For her, French literature is a way to understand this intersection. She said that’s why she pursued a second major in French, reading such writers as Proust and Flaubert, studying abroad in France, and volunteering at a children’s hospital in Paris.

In addition to her interest in pediatric medicine and developmental neuroscience at both the clinical and basic science levels, Uchitel focuses on early childhood and child rights.

She said she believes that proper early childhood brain development is crucial to forming a strong foundation that will serve children for the rest of their lives. Child rights, the human rights specifically due to children, inherently promote early childhood development. She is currently writing an article on child rights and early child development with the International Pediatric Association and members of the World Health Organization.

Uchitel’s extracurricular commitments include serving as co-president of Duke’s Global Medical Brigades, where she traveled twice to Honduras to bring medical care to local communities; serving as editor-in-chief of the Duke Student Global Health Review; and volunteering in science outreach to local girls through FEMMES.

With Marshall funding, Uchitel will pursue a research master of philosophy (MPhil) in pediatrics at Cambridge, developing a new optical imaging technology for newborns at risk for brain injury, and a master’s degree in international child studies at King’s College London. She has already secured academic advisers for her research projects at both institutions.

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