Carnegie Mellon University
December 13, 2021

Senior Greta Markey Earns Marshall Scholarship

By Rachel Handel

Mireille Mobley
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • 412-268-8111
Sherry Stokes
  • College of Engineering
  • 412-268-5976

Carnegie Mellon University's Greta Markey has been named a recipient of the highly competitive Marshall Scholarship, which is awarded to less than 50 Americans each year to fund graduate education in the United Kingdom. She is the fifth CMU student to receive the award since 1955.

Markey, a senior double majoring in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) will study environment and international development at the University of East Anglia and its Water Security Research Center.

Markey said that her experience at CMU prepared her well for the scholarship interviews and helped her to stand out amidst the competition. She cited the value of her research experience in the CMU Mechanical and AI Laboratory, which taught her to develop funding proposals, manage grant money and publish research.

"It all paid off. I'm so honored and grateful to join a cohort of incredible, driven, inspiring Marshall Scholar peers," she said.

The Marshall Scholarship is a step toward Markey's goals to earn a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and become a professor. Her career inspiration comes from mentorship from CEE Professor Kelvin Gregory — who helped her to discover a passion for water sourcing and research — and EPP Professor Daniel Armanios — who suggested she apply for the award as well as helped guide Markey on her path to becoming an independent and social equity-focused engineering researcher.

"CEE is proud of Greta, that she will take her passion, knowledge and ability to work across disciplines to the U.K. as a Marshall Scholar," said Dave Dzombak, Hamerschlag University Professor and CEE department head. "Her motivation to improve quality of life for people through civil and environmental engineering exemplifies the leadership for which the scholarship recipients are renowned."

Markey said that her interdisciplinary education at CMU gave her the opportunity to combine her interests in social justice, international relations and engineering.

"Without [my undergraduate experience], I wouldn't even know where to begin framing the problems I want to work to solve for the rest of my life," she said.

Markey also participated in the Washington, D.C., Semester Program, working on policy research that allowed her to better understand the political process. Because the Marshall Scholarship is focused on U.S.-U.K. relationships and leadership, her real-world experience helped set her apart from other applicants.

Markey worked closely with CMU's Fellowships and Scholarships Office on her application.

Brittany Allison, who served as the assistant director of Undergraduate Research and National Fellowships, said that Markey will thrive as a Marshall Scholar.

"Greta will be an important leader and innovative contributor at the intersection of water security research and equitable policies," Allison said. "I have seen firsthand the deep knowledge, motivation and excitement that Greta radiates when she speaks about these issues, and I feel confident that she will bring these talents and more to the next cohort of Marshall Scholars."

Looking forward to her time in the U.K., Markey said she plans to build upon her interest in equitable water systems engineering while gaining a historic, international and interdisciplinary contextualization of the engineering environment — including gaining the perspectives of indigenous communities.

"Transboundary water conflict prevents millions of individuals from becoming water secure throughout the world and water scarcity is yielding an increasing number of climate refugees," she said. As she embarks on her next educational adventure, Markey will use the opportunity she's earned to work toward a better understanding of the international barriers, impacts and impediments to community-level water sourcing.

The latest class of the Marshall Scholarship program reflects a wide range of cultural, academic and geographic backgrounds. Among the cohort are nationally recognized LGBT rights advocates, artists, award-winning documentary filmmakers and scientists conducting cutting-edge research on artificial intelligence and space travel.


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