Kyra Jasper ’23 was named the only Marshall Scholar from Stanford in the 2023 cohort on Dec. 13.
The Marshall Scholarship allows students from the United States to study in any institution in the United Kingdom in any field of their choice with the intent of strengthening the relationship between the two countries and enhancing intellectual growth. Jasper will be continuing her studies at the London School of Economics and SOAS University of London with her scholarship.
Jasper is a senior from Cary, North Carolina majoring in history and minoring in human rights. She has spent most of her undergraduate career engaging in research on Southeast Asia. She is the founding president of the Stanford Southeast Asia Forum, an organization that studies the cooperation between the United States and Southeast Asia on issues like current events and ongoing research based on Southeast Asia.
Jasper co-founded the Southeast Asia journal at Stanford with Gan Chern Xun ’23, which she described as one of the first undergraduate-led research journals that focus on the study of Southeast Asia.
Jasper applied for the Marshall Scholarship to pursue her “long term goal to be a scholar in Southeast Asian legal history.” This area of study is not offered in many programs in the United States, but is offered more widely in universities in the United Kingdom, Jasper said.
In pursuit of her long term goal, Jasper ventured into academic research and worked with a nonprofit in Southeast Asia. She worked alongside Center for Human Rights and International Justice faculty co-director David Cohen as a research assistant. They worked to publish an article about how Ethiopia’s legal pluralist and federalist system limits gender equity and efforts to end child marriage, female genital mutation and human trafficking.
Jasper also interned for the Indonesian Institute for Independent Judiciary in 2018, an organization focusing on judicial reform efforts, especially at the Supreme Court in Indonesia. Jasper is currently working on her honors thesis, researching and monitoring the first case of human rights violations against girls that is being tried in the Indonesia Human Rights Court.
Cohen and associate history professor Jonathan Gienapp, two of her closest mentors, were ecstatic to hear that she was named a 2023 Marshall Scholar and are excited to see what Jasper will accomplish in the future. Jasper met Gienapp in his Doing Legal History class.
“As a student and a person, Kyra is an extraordinary ambassador to enter the Marshall program both on behalf of the United States but also Stanford in particular,” Gienapp said.
Neither were surprised by the announcement and described the scholarship as a reflection of her dedication to her studies, her intelligence and her wonderful personal qualities.
“I would just encourage her to keep going on the amazing trajectory that she’s mapped out for herself because she has done a lot, and I know she will do much more as she progresses through her career,” Cohen said.