Promising Arabist named Marshall Scholar
Candidates for highly competitive, elite scholarships such as the Rhodes and the Marshall can expect to be questioned in any language they have listed on their application.
Despite his three years of study in Arabic, however, Adam Berry 06C didn't have to use the language during his Marshall interview—largely because no one on the committee spoke it.
Nevertheless, Berry impressed the committee enough to receive a 2006 Marshall Scholarship for graduate study in England, becoming the third consecutive Emory student to receive the award and the University's twelfth overall.
A political science and Middle Eastern studies major with minors in Arabic, Persian, and linguistics, Berry plans to use his scholarship the first year to earn a master of arts in applied linguistics at the University of Birmingham.
He will follow this with a second year of study at Oxford University to pursue a master of studies degree in modern Middle Eastern studies with a concentration on Iran.
“Adam is a brilliant linguist and could easily be the top Arabist of his generation,” says Associate Professor Kristen Brustad. “We in Middle Eastern studies are thrilled that a young scholar of his talents has chosen this field. I have no doubt he will bring new life to Iranian studies in the United States.”
The youngest son of two college professors (his older brother is Steve Berry 95C), Berry grew up in a small, rural town in Maryland but traveled extensively during his childhood. His mother was from the Czech Republic, and their family often visited relatives in Eastern Europe.
This piqued Berry's interest in other cultures, which narrowed to Middle Eastern studies after he took a few courses in the department his freshman year.
“Perhaps more so than any other region in the world,” he says, “the Middle East is a constantly shifting mix of cross-cultural influences, where religion, politics, language, and all other facets of society interact and affect each other, irrespective of borders.”
Berry has completed internships at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C., and at a law firm in Maryland, where he researched immigration and labor law. A paper he wrote as a sophomore was published in the peer-reviewed journal International Social Science Review.
Once he gets to England, Berry is interested in taking up archery: “You have to do something other than work every once in a while.”—M.J.L.