LSA Honors alumna wins Gates Cambridge Scholarship


Anna Forringer-Beal, a 2016 graduate of the LSA Honors Program, has been awarded a 2017 Gates Scholarship to the University of Cambridge.

Established in 2000 with a $210 million donation to the University of Cambridge by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship is considered among the most competitive and prestigious in the world.

Anna Forringer-Beal

It provides full funding for graduate programs at Cambridge. Scholars are selected on the basis of academic excellence, the applicant’s fit with their prospective Cambridge graduate program, outstanding leadership potential, and commitment to improving the lives of others.

Forringer-Beal, a native of Ann Arbor and graduate of Greenhills School, majored in Honors Anthropology.   Her thesis, titled “(In)visible Genders: How Central American Women Migrants Navigate Control and Vulnerability,” was completed under the direction of Jason De Leon.

She completed a second major in Women’s Studies and was an outstanding student leader working with Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center, Residential Education, and the Division of Student Life, where she served as a Relationship Remix class instructor.

At Cambridge, Forringer-Beal will pursue Master of Philosophy degree in gender studies before returning to the United States to pursue a doctorate in sociology.

U-M’s new Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships provides coaching and support to potential Gates Cambridge applicants. Unlike the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, the Gates Cambridge does not require formal nomination by U-M. Candidates apply as part of their graduate application to Cambridge, and prospective departments nominate their top admitted students for the Gates.

In 2017, approximately 800 U.S. candidates applied for the scholarship; 200 of these were nominated by their prospective departments at Cambridge, and 97 finalists were interviewed by panels of academics from the United Kingdom and United States in Washington D.C. at the end of January.

The 36 U.S. scholars-elect will join 54 Gates Campbridge Scholars from other parts of the world, who will be announced in early April and will complete the class of 2017. 

Forringer-Beal is the eighth Gates Cambridge Scholar selected from U-M and the first since Ana Guay and Karin Bashir in 2015.  Since the first class in 2001, there have been more than 1,600 Gates Cambridge Scholars from 104 countries who represent more than 600 universities globally (more than 200 in the U.S.), 80 academic departments and all 31 colleges at Cambridge.

The gender balance is approximately 50 percent men and women.  Several Gates Cambridge alumni have subsequently earned graduate degrees from U-M.

The Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships will host an information session for prospective 2018 Gates Cambridge applicants at 6 p.m. Feb. 20 in the C.C. Little Building, Room 1528, featuring three Gates Cambridge alumni currently at U-M.

Faculty and staff should encourage highly qualified potential candidates to seek more information at or contact Henry Dyson at


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