ASU’s first Churchill Scholarship awarded to Christopher Balzer

Today Christopher Balzer became the first student from Arizona State University to ever receive the prestigious Churchill Scholarship.

Since 1963, the Churchill Scholarship has been awarded to exceptional science and engineering students to fund graduate studies at the University of Cambridge.

Upon graduating from the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy with bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in spring 2017, Balzer will make the trip across the pond to the United Kingdom in September. He’ll begin pursuing his master’s degree in Advanced Chemical Engineering come October.

Scholars are chosen based on outstanding academic achievement, personal qualities and a demonstrated interest in research. The Churchill Scholarship was established to honor Sir Winston Churchill’s vision of U.S.-U.K. scientific exchange with the goal of advancing science and technology and helping to ensure the prosperity and security of both nations.

Balzer, a student in Barrett, the Honors College at ASU, said he first heard about the opportunity from the Office of National Scholarship Advisement at Barrett. ASU has only been participating in the scholarship program run by the Churchill Foundation for the last four years.

“I’m the first but definitely not the last,” says Balzer of receiving the scholarship. “It’s an honor to be first, considering some of the great scholars who have applied from ASU in the past few years. Someone had to be first, and I’m happy I get the chance to represent ASU at Cambridge.”

A component of the scholarship revolves around research, which Balzer is no stranger to as a three-semester participant in the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative. At Cambridge, he’ll work with Professor David Fairen-Jimenez, who heads the university’s Advanced Materials Research Group. Balzer will contribute to ongoing work with modeling metal-organic frameworks for carbon capture.

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