Monks is the 11th MIT student to win the prestigious scholarship since it was first awarded in 1963 to honor the memory of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill by the Winston Churchill Foundation. The first winner from MIT since 2006, Monks was chosen to be among 13 to 15 students who will undertake one-year graduate degrees in the science, engineering or mathematics fields at Churchill’s namesake college.
"The Churchill Scholarship has become one of the preeminently competitive international fellowship awards that recognizes extraordinary accomplishment and promise in a select handful of American university students,” said Linn Hobbs, chair of the Presidential Committee on Distinguished Fellowships and professor of materials science and engineering and nuclear science and engineering.
“Already recognized as one of country's leading young published mathematicians, Maria Monks has also earned All-American honors as one of the country's outstanding cross-country runners. She combines remarkable talent in both fields of endeavor with singular determination and an astonishing capacity for hard work."
A mathematics major with a minor in physics, Monks, 21, of Hazleton, Pa., hopes to become a math professor and will pursue a master’s in mathematics at Churchill College.
"My MIT education has prepared me well for graduate study, and I hope to pursue my love of mathematical exploration to the furthest extent during my year as a Churchill scholar," Monks said.