School of Information graduate student Marilu Duque has been selected as the University of Michigan’s first recipient of the George J. Mitchell Scholarship.

Marilu Duque
Marilu Duque

The Mitchell Scholarship is an initiative of the U.S.-Ireland Alliance and provides 12 Americans with the opportunity to pursue a year of graduate study in Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is named after former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, in recognition of his work on the Ireland-Northern Ireland peace process.

The annual scholarship is one of the nation’s most prestigious academic honors, and one of the few founded and led by a woman. The 2022 class of Mitchell Scholars will begin their studies in September 2021.

“I am beyond honored to be named a Mitchell Scholar,” Duque said. “Being chosen means that I will spend a year building meaningful bonds with fellow scholars and the people of Ireland, while joining a community of people truly passionate about creating positive change in their respective fields.”

Her work focuses on national security, cybersecurity and machine learning. She became interested in studying cybersecurity in Ireland while conducting her current master’s thesis at U-M.

After learning about Ireland’s National Cybersecurity Strategy, which made citizen security and privacy protections a top priority, Duque identified a master’s program in applied cybersecurity at Technological University Dublin, where she will study.

Duque, who is from Deltona, Florida, is a first-generation American born to Cuban and Dominican parents. Before joining the master’s program at the School of Information, she earned her bachelor’s degree in integrated digital media at New York University.

“Being a Mitchell Scholar enables first-generation students like myself the opportunity to learn about Ireland directly and gain new perspectives on how our work may impact diverse international communities,” she said.

Duque was selected from an applicant pool of 453 students, 70 percent of whom were women. Half of the finalists were people of color and 30 percent were from schools not previously represented.

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