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UC Berkeley Press Release

UC Berkeley student wins prestigious Marshall Scholarship

– A University of California, Berkeley, student who spent last summer establishing 50 micro-clinics for diabetics in the West Bank is a 2006 recipient of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, given annually by the British government to about 40 students in the United States.


Daniel Zoughbie

The scholars, who must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and a capacity to make a significant contribution to society, may pursue advanced degrees at any academic institution in the United Kingdom. Daniel Zoughbie, a UC Berkeley senior majoring in urban studies and minoring in Middle Eastern studies, plans to do graduate work in development studies at Oxford University next fall.

"I am interested in exploring not only how the apparatus of development has been used to exploit and control populations, but also how it can be used to empower individuals to facilitate change on a grassroots level," he said. "In the future, I desire to influence public policy in the Middle East with regard to Israel and Palestine by heading an NGO (non-governmental organization) or working through governmental institutions."

The names of the 2006 winners now appear on the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission's Web site. Zoughbie heard earlier this month about his scholarship, which will cover university fees, living expenses, books and research while he studies abroad.

"I was overjoyed to get a phone call notifying me that I had received the scholarship. This is a tremendous opportunity for which I am extremely grateful," said Zoughbie.

Ananya Roy, associate dean of academic affairs for International and Area Studies at UC Berkeley and assistant professor and chair of the Urban Studies Program, wrote a letter recommending Zoughbie for the scholarship. "Daniel is an outstanding student. On the basis of his intellectual and leadership capacities, I would place him in the top one percent of students I have taught here at UC Berkeley," she wrote. ".I believe Daniel represents the best traditions of the UC Berkeley campus: passion for scholarship, commitment to public service, a global sense of self, and social leadership. He is well deserving of this prestigious opportunity."

Zoughbie's accomplishments as a college student include his work in the West Bank establishing The Micro-Clinic Project in the D'heisheh Refugee Camp and in the Bethlehem area to educate people about diabetes and to give diabetics a convenient place for shared access to frequent testing. The micro-clinics also provide lectures, workshops and group activities to the community.

"My diabetic grandmother died trying to get from Bethlehem to the hospital; there were no ambulances, and she had developed fatal complications due to poor diabetic education, restrictions on movements, and the stressful political situation," Zoughbie writes in a Web site about the project. "Diabetes is one of the leading contributors to disability and death in Palestine. I am intent on doing something about this."

While overseas last summer, Zoughbie wrote 11 well-written, insightful dispatches from the field to the online UC Berkeley NewsCenter, where they inspired a wide audience. He also wrote a guest commentary about his experiences for the Contra Costa Times newspaper.

He said he hopes to broaden the scope of the project "to involve other students and reach other geographical locations," and to use the diabetes micro-clinic model to fight other deadly diseases in underdeveloped countries.

During the upcoming winter break at UC Berkeley, Zoughbie plans to travel to Israel and Palestine to check on the project.

Roy wrote that Zoughbie's micro-clinic work overseas "is a solid example of research in action, of institution-building, of social praxis in difficult contexts. While other undergraduate and graduate students are usually satisfied with rigorous research, Daniel has challenged himself to go further, insisting that his work has to have a public service mandate."

While at UC Berkeley, Zoughbie also has received the highly competitive Robert and Colleen Haas Scholarship, which provides undergraduates with funding to pursue a research or creative project; and the Donald A. Strauss Scholarship, an award for college juniors at pre-selected, four-year California colleges and universities that pays for a public service project.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Zoughbie has volunteered for many organizations in the United States and Palestine, plays the violin and loves to play basketball.

Marshall Scholarships have been given out every year since 1953 by the United Kingdom as a national gesture of thanks to the United States for aid received under the post-World War II Marshall Plan. Winners may attend any British university and pursue any field of study. More than 1,000 students are nominated to apply for the scholarship each year. Former scholars include Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, electronics entrepreneur Ray Dolby and New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Thomas Friedman.