Senior Audrey Miles named 2023 Churchill Scholar

Author: Erin Blasko

University of Notre Dame senior Audrey Miles will study at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, next year as one of 16 Churchill Scholars. She is Notre Dame’s fourth Churchill Scholar overall and second in as many years. She is the University’s first non-math Churchill Scholar.

In applying for the award, she worked closely with the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE), which promotes the intellectual development of Notre Dame undergraduates through scholarly engagement, research, creative endeavors and the pursuit of fellowships.

“I would like to congratulate Audrey on this achievement,” said Emily Hunt, student engagement program coordinator with CUSE. “It is the result of many years of hard work, dedication and taking full advantage of the opportunities offered to her at Notre Dame. The research funding she received through the College of Science Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and Notre Dame Energy’s Vincent P. Slatt Fellowship for Undergraduate Research in Energy Systems and Processes, along with support from the Glynn Family Honors Program, helped her stand out in a pool of the nation’s top STEM applicants. Finally, I would like to thank her faculty mentors and advisers for their consistent support during her time at Notre Dame.”

Established at the request of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill upon the establishment of Churchill College, the Churchill Scholarship recognizes excellence in academics and research in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math.

The program supports one year of postgraduate study in a STEM discipline at Churchill College, including tuition, round-trip airfare to the U.K., visa fees, health surcharge and stipend, equal to about $61,000. Scholars may also apply for a special research grant.

Miles is a chemistry major from Brunswick, Ohio, with a concentration in computing and a supplementary major in theology. She is a Glynn Family Honors Scholar and a Goldwater Scholar. She plans to pursue a master of philosophy in nuclear energy at Churchill College en route to a research career in nuclear energy. She also aims to empower others to pursue innovations in STEM by teaching at the university level and advocating for increased access to nuclear science in academia.

“I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to study at Cambridge next year as a Churchill Scholar,” Miles said. “My parents and sisters were the first to teach me to find joy in learning, and I am very grateful for their continual support. I have also been fortunate to benefit from the guidance of excellent professors and research mentors. I would particularly like to thank Amy Hixon, William Schneider, Bahram Moasser and Kyson Smith for fostering my love of science. I am also grateful to Emily Hunt of CUSE for her help in discerning my future goals and applying for the Goldwater and Churchill Scholarships.”

“Audrey thrives on challenges, and she has continually demonstrated curiosity and drive in the laboratory and in analysis and interpretation of data,” said Moasser, associate teaching professor in the College of Science at Notre Dame. “Her most enduring characteristic is that she is intellectually adventurous. She is fearless in taking on challenging problems with the mental acuity of a much more experienced thinker. Her maturity, perceptiveness and ability to thrive under pressure make her exceptionally well-prepared for a career in research.”

Established in 1963, the Churchill Scholarship fulfills its namesake’s vision of deepening the U.S.-U.K. partnership while advancing science and technology on both sides of the Atlantic. It encompasses 18 total scholarships — 16 Churchill Scholarships in science, math and engineering and two Kanders Churchill Scholarships in science policy.

For more on this and other scholarship opportunities, visit cuse.nd.edu.

Contact: Erin Blasko, assistant director of media relations, 574-631-4127, eblasko@nd.edu

Originally published by Erin Blasko at news.nd.edu on January 10, 2023.