Anna Guasco ’16 named Gates Cambridge Scholar

February 19, 2019

Anna Guasco, Carleton College Class of 2016, has been identified by the Gates Cambridge Trust as one of the 34 most academically outstanding and socially committed U.S. citizens, earning her a place in the 2019 class of Gates Cambridge Scholars at the University of Cambridge.

The prestigious and highly-selective postgraduate scholarship program was established in 2000 with a $210 million donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest ever single donation to a United Kingdom university. The scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the United Kingdom and fully fund postgraduate study and research in any subject at the University of Cambridge.

"I am so excited and grateful to be joining the Gates Cambridge community, and to have the opportunity to pursue my doctoral research in geography at the University of Cambridge. I am particularly grateful to the Carleton faculty, staff, students, and Northfield community members who have supported, inspired, and encouraged me in this journey," Guasco said. 

"One of the most influential parts of my Carleton experience was the CCCE (Center for Community and Civic Engagement). From taking ACE (Academic Civic Engagement) classes and working as a public scholarship fellow, to volunteering as an environmental educator with Kids for Conservation and organizing Carleton’s first BioBlitz, and to conducting independent publicly-engaged research, community and civic engagement have been at the core of my path. The CCCE and the opportunities it facilitated helped me envision the type of career I plan to pursue in community-engaged research." 

Guasco earned a BA summa cum laude in American studies at Carleton and an MSc in environment, culture and society as an Avangrid Scholar at the University of Edinburgh in 2017. In 2018 she served as an Ocean Discovery Fellow for the National Ocean Exploration Forum. At Cambridge, she plans to earn a PhD in geography, studying geographies, histories and narratives of grey whale migration and conservation along the North American Pacific Coast.

In addition to outstanding academic achievement, the Gates Cambridge Scholars program places emphasis on social leadership in its selection process, with a mission to create a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others. For Guasco, this ties back to her time studying at Carleton, when she worked as a park ranger at the Channel Islands National Park in coastal California.

“I found myself drawn to the unexpected connections between storytelling, history, environment and justice,” Guasco said. “As a Gates Cambridge Scholar, I hope to collaborate with other scholars and Cambridge community members to promote equitable access to research, education and storytelling.”

When she begins her studies at the University of Cambridge this fall, Guasco will join the more than 1,600 Gates Cambridge Scholars from over 100 countries who have participated in the program since its first class of scholars in 2001.

“The U.S. Scholars-elect have been selected to reflect the mission of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s generous and historic gift to the University of Cambridge,” said Barry Everitt FRS, provost of the Gate Cambridge Trust. “Like their predecessors, they are an extraordinarily impressive and diverse group who have already achieved much in terms of their academic studies and leadership abilities and have already shown their commitment to improving the lives of others in a multitude of ways. We are sure that the entire class of 2019 will flourish in the vibrant, international community at Cambridge as Gates Cambridge Scholars and that they will make a substantial impact in their fields and to the wider global community.”

For more information, visit the Gates Cambridge Scholars website or contact the Carleton College Office of Student Fellowships.