Two Princeton students win Marshall Scholarships

Dec. 11, 2003 12:36 a.m.

Two Princeton students -- a senior geosciences major exploring the possible existence of life beyond Earth and a recent graduate now in Chile examining the legacies of the Pinochet dictatorship -- have been awarded 2004 Marshall Scholarships. The award covers the cost of living and studying at a British university of the recipient's choice for two or three years.

Senior Maia Schweizer will use her award to obtain a master's degree in earth sciences at the University of Oxford. Schweizer, who is from Pasadena, Calif., has traveled to Germany, Norway, Mexico, Canada and around the United States to study fossils, rare bacteria and other evidence of the origins of life on Earth. At Oxford, she will work with Professor Martin Brasier, an earth scientist well known for his research on early life forms.

"I believe that a thorough understanding of life on our own planet lays the foundation for turning our gaze outward, to Mars and beyond," Schweizer said. "Working with Professor Brasier, I will have access to the cutting-edge tools that are revolutionizing the field and guidance in using them."

Daniel Pastor, who graduated with a degree in politics from Princeton in 2003, will pursue a master's in political theory at Oxford. Pastor, who is from Dallas, is currently in Chile on a Martin Dale '53 Fellowship, which he received last spring. The annual award goes to an outstanding Princeton senior to devote the year following graduation to an independent project. He also won a Truman Scholarship, which provides funds for graduate school in preparation for a career in government or elsewhere in public service.

Pastor plans to pursue a public service career focused on foreign policy and international relations. His current research in Chile examines the long-term political consequences of the constitution imposed by the Pinochet dictatorship. "It is a historical study of how democracy can be undermined and perverted," he said.

More information is available in a news release.

Contact: Lauren Robinson-Brown (609) 258-3601