UK's Dahlia d'Arge Named Marshall Scholar

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by Whitney Hale

(Nov. 25, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards announced today that history senior and Army ROTC cadet Dahlia d'Arge, of Paris, Kentucky, has been named a 2015 Marshall Scholar. The scholarship will finance two years of graduate study for her at an institution of her choice in the United Kingdom. D'Arge is the third UK student to receive the honor from the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission. 

"University of Kentucky students compete and succeed at a national level in academic competition, research and for national awards," said President Eli Capilouto. "The entire university family is deeply proud of Dahlia’s achievements as an ROTC cadet and UK’s third Marshall Scholar. We are excited to see her future success as a graduate student in the United Kingdom." 

Up to 40 scholars are selected each year to study at the graduate level at a U.K. institution in any field of study. The scholarship covers university fees, cost of living expenses, an annual book grant, thesis grant, research and daily travel grants, fares to and from the United States.

As future leaders, with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions. The objectives of the program are:

  • to enable intellectually distinguished young Americans, their country's future leaders, to study in the U.K.;
  • to help scholars gain an understanding and appreciation of contemporary Britain;
  • to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in science, technology, the humanities and social sciences and the creative arts at Britain's centers of academic excellence;
  • to motivate scholars to act as ambassadors from the U.S. to the U.K. and vice versa throughout their lives thus strengthening British American understanding; and
  • to promote the personal and academic fulfilment of each scholar.

The last UK student selected as a Marshall Scholar was Jennifer Kasten, who received the scholarship in 2002.

D'Arge, the daughter of Ralph and Dani d'Arge, of Paris, will use her Marshall Scholarship to pursue two master's degrees in the U.K. She has applied to the University of Glasgow in Scotland to pursue a master's degree in war studies followed by a master's degree in intelligence and international security at King's College London.

At UK, d'Arge chose to study history because of a lifelong love of the topic and a belief that understanding the past is the key to making a better future. "As an ROTC cadet, my future career will be as an officer in our Army. Being able to learn the lessons of human history enables me to be a better officer through my ability to analyze information and to make comparisons to past events."

During her time in college, d'Arge has achieved great success in the classroom and in the field. The Honors Program student is the recipient of UK's Presidential Scholarship, the Kentucky Education Excellence Scholarship and the Paris High School Alumni Scholarship. In addition, she has received the 2013 and 2014 Academic Excellence Award from UK German Studies.

As a cadet, d'Arge completed Basic Airborne School training, won a gold medal in the German Armed Forces Military Proficiency Badge Competition, acted as a leader in the Kentucky Ranger Organization, and published a paper regarding the issue of sexual harassment in the military. She is the recipient of a four-year U.S. Army ROTC scholarship and the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Army ROTC Platinum Physical Fitness Award. D'Arge has earned the Wildcat Battalion Coin for Leadership Excellence three times, a 2013 82nd Airborne Office of the Staff Judge Advocate Coin, and a 2013 U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command Coin. Her senior thesis for her major focused on the role of Special Forces soldiers in the Vietnam War Hamlet Project.

D'Arge credits several faculty members and ROTC leaders for helping her attain success, including Bruce Holle, senior lecturer of history; Kay Woods, of the UK Honors Program; Brenna Byrd, assistant professor of German studies; Jason Cummins, director of Impact Leadership Program at UK Athletics; Master Sergeant Gregory Lehman, military science instructor; and Lt. Col. Shawn Umbrell, professor of military science.

"Each has inspired and encouraged me to push past the expectations of most college students and to challenge myself in both academic and military settings."

After completing her two master's degrees, d'Arge plans to pursue further studies in history with a focus in military strategy and intelligence after she serves. "After a career in the Army, I aspire to earn a Ph.D. in modern Western military history and teach at a public university."

Founded by a 1953 Act of Parliament, and named in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, Marshall Scholarships commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan and express the continuing gratitude of the British people to their American counterparts. In the U.S. the selection process is managed by regional Consulates General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, and in Washington D.C. by the British Embassy.

D'Arge was one of 26 finalists who interviewed for the Marshall in the 13-state Chicago region.

Students interested in applying for the Marshall Scholarship should contact Pat Whitlow, director of the UK Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. Part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, the office assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with Director Pat Whitlow well in advance of the scholarship deadline.

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