AUSTIN, Texas — Margaret Siu, a Plan II honors senior at The University of Texas at Austin, is the recipient of a 2020 British Marshall Scholarship.
The Marshall scholarship will fund Siu’s graduate education at the University of Oxford, where she will pursue a Master of Science in Contemporary Chinese Studies during her first year and a Master of Science in Global Governance and Diplomacy during her second. The scholarship will cover Siu’s university fees, cost-of-living expenses, books, thesis research and travel, and fares to and from the United States.
“Receiving the Marshall scholarship affirms my mission to gain a diplomatic understanding to navigate between clashing ideologies,” Siu said. “This scholarship will allow me to study at Oxford. There, I will learn from a global perspective about how soft power works through narratives and especially how the Chinese government curates stories. Given current harrowing events, these stories cannot be forgotten.”
As a freshman, Siu founded Apricity Magazine, now the official literary and arts journal of The University of Texas at Austin. She served as the publication’s editor-in-chief for three years, leading the acquisition and digital preservation of the Analecta, a 45-year-old magazine that published the work of Academy Award winners Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson. In January 2019, Apricity won the Gold Crown Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, one of only two arts magazines in the nation to receive the honor. Siu has also advised high schools and colleges in Austin and Shanghai on how to create their own arts publications. Since fall 2019, she has served as Apricity’s chairman.
As a Bill Archer fellow, Siu has spent the fall 2019 semester in Washington, D.C., where she works as a research intern for the Human Rights Initiative in the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She was also a semi-finalist for the Rhodes scholarship and has obtained a certificate in managerial economics, business analytics and financial accounting from Harvard Business School, as well as a certificate in advanced Mandarin Chinese from National Taiwan Normal University.
“Margaret Siu fully embodies what it means to be a student of the liberal arts,” said Ann Huff Stevens, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “She puts her scholarship to work through a variety of experiences, from founding an award-winning magazine to working as an intern on international human rights issues, all the while using her broad education to lead and to solve problems.”
The Marshall scholarship, now in its 66th year, is funded substantially through the government of the United Kingdom. The intention of the Marshall scholarship is to “strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions,” according to the British Marshall Scholarship website. It was founded as a tribute to the Marshall Plan, which was named for former U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall and through which the United States provided aid to rebuild Europe after World War II.
Siu is the 27th UT Austin student to receive a Marshall scholarship since its establishment in 1953.