Two UA Seniors Awarded Mitchell Scholarships

From the UA News Center | TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama seniors Anika Cho, of Beaverton, Oregon, and Owen Emerson, of Huntsville, are two of 12 college students from around the nation to receive the U.S.-Ireland Alliance’s George J. Mitchell Scholarship.  

The Mitchell Scholarship, named to honor former U.S. Senator George Mitchell’s contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service. 

Cho is a UA Honors College student studying electrical engineering. She is interested in developing acoustic methods and technologies that will advance ocean exploration. Cho received the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship in June 2022 and has conducted research at NOAA Ocean Exploration, Dauphin Island Sea Lab and an underwater acoustics lab at UA. She is vice president of the Amateur Radio Club and has volunteered as a MATE ROV underwater robotics team mentor and Science Olympiad event captain. 

Cho will study electrical and electronic engineering at University College Cork. 

Owen Emerson

Emerson is a UA Honors College student studying economics. He is a guitarist and singer-songwriter who fuses Appalachian folk music techniques with modern pop and alt-rock styles. Noting the Ulster Scots influence on Appalachian music, Emerson wants to become a documentarian and educator of Appalachian-Irish musical heritage. He is a member of the University Fellows Experience, a community of elite scholars from diverse disciplines who share a similar passion to become change agents through commitment to leadership and service. 

Emerson will study music and media technologies at Trinity College Dublin. 

The UA Office of External Scholarships and Fellowships assists students in the pursuit of national and international awards including the Mitchell, Hollings, Goldwater, Rhodes and Boren, among others. Students interested in applying for awards that require an institutional endorsement can learn more on the External Scholarships and Fellowships website

 Additionally, Dr. Evan Clark, assistant director of external scholarships & fellowships, gave additional information about the process saying, “Following their written applications, Anika and Owen successfully progressed through a series of semi-final and final round interviews. The Mitchell Scholarship requires endorsement through the Office of External Scholarships and Fellowships where students receive university nomination and advice through all stages of the application process.” 

This marks UA’s 3rd and 4th Mitchell Scholars since the prestigious program’s inaugural class in 2001 and the university’s first awardees in over a decade. Sarah Johnson was selected in 2012 as part of the 2013-14 class and Adam Harbison in 2008 in the 2009-10 class.