Junior to Study Public Policy With Beinecke Scholarship
April 15, 2011 – A Georgetown student has won the competitive Beinecke Scholarship, given to juniors of “exceptional promise” to pursue graduate studies.
Michael Murto, a junior in the College, was one of only 20 students out of 80 nominees nationwide selected for the scholarship.
Murto, a native of Goshen, Ind., plans to use the scholarship to pursue graduate study in public policy.
“Public policy is the intersection of my two academic passions – economics and government,” Murto says.
He notes that “economics deals primarily with tradeoffs and optimization, but has little to say on the moral dilemmas that inherently come with those tradeoffs” while “political science … is primarily about how to set up a just society, and what that means in the context of the rights and obligations of its citizens.”
He said he hopes to study how the two fields can work together toward individual goals while respecting the goals of the other.
Opportunity to All
“That means a just society that is also economically efficient – a society that offers opportunity to all without leaving members behind,” says Murto, now studying at the London School of Economics. “And because of the nature of economics and our society as a whole, this is a field that is constantly changing with new circumstances.”
Murto is a John Carroll Fellow at Georgetown and a member of the track team.
The Beinecke Scholarship Program provides its winners with $4,000 before entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while pursuing graduate studies.
The program seeks to encourage highly motivated students to pursue a graduate course of study in the arts, humanities and social sciences, according to its website.
“I knew I wanted to continue my studies after graduation, but the cost of graduate school was a major deterrent,” Murto says. “The Beinecke is a way for me to continue my studies where otherwise it might have been very difficult or even impossible. I'm extremely honored by the decision of the Beinecke selection committee to offer me this opportunity.”
John Glavin, a Georgetown English professor who serves as the university’s fellowship secretary, says the young Georgetown student “balances nuance with rigor, discipline and determination with breadth of interest and sympathy.
“[Murto] has a drive to win and a drive to discover – in short, he strives always and only for the optimal, because nothing less will do,” Glavin says.