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Alumni DeProspo, Duffy named Gates Cambridge scholars

Atticus DeProspo
Karen Duffy

Two Cornellians have been awarded the Gates Cambridge Scholarship at the University of Cambridge, England. They are Atticus DeProspo ’15 and Karen Duffy ’13, M.Eng. ’14.

The scholarship supports one to four years of postgraduate study at the prestigious school. More than 4,500 applicants vie for 90 scholarships each year – 35 for U.S. students and 55 for scholars from other parts of the world. The program places emphasis in its admissions process on outstanding intellectual ability, leadership ability and commitment to improving the lives of others.

DeProspo will head to Cambridge to pursue a Master of Philosophy degree in multidisciplinary gender studies after he spends a year in China as a Schwarzman Scholar. He received a bachelor's degree in industrial and labor relations, graduating with honors. He wrote his senior honor thesis on LGBTQ inclusion in collegiate athletics and created a survey to measure the current climate surrounding LGBTQ inclusion in NCAA athletic departments. He was a member of the Cornell varsity men’s soccer team for four years, helping them win an Ivy League title in 2012.

DeProspo is a co-founder and student-athlete representative on the LGBT committee for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Previously, he worked in Florida and Washington, D.C., as an intern for Sen. Marco Rubio. In 2015, he interned at the Supreme Court of the United States for Justice Sonia Sotomayor. He hopes to pursue a career as a public servant in the federal government and as an inclusion ambassador for professional sport leagues.

Duffy will pursue a doctorate in molecular biology at Cambridge. At Cornell she studied biomedical engineering, earning a bachelor's degree in engineering and a master’s degree of engineering in biomedical engineering. Since graduating in 2013, she has been working in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry.

“I’ve experienced firsthand the impact that great scientists can have in the lives of patients. I am excited about the potential of entirely new therapeutic modalities to bring dramatic benefits to our ability to prevent, treat and cure disease,” she said.

At Cambridge, she will expand upon the chemistry of DNA and RNA to develop novel synthetic genetic polymers. “Through this chemical diversification, I hope to engineer new biopolymers with advantageous properties for therapeutic applications,” she said.

The scholarship program was established in 2000 through a $210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Melissa Osgood