Paine and Baziuk Nominated for Robertson Scholarship

Isabel Paine ’20 and Marta Baziuk ’20 reflected on opportunities created by potentially receiving the scholarship.

Marta Baziuk ’20 and Isabel Paine ’20 are this year’s nominees for the Robertson Scholarship, a program that seeks to create “a community of leaders… striving to make transformational contributions to society,” according to its website. The scholarship encourages student collaboration between Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As students of both schools, Robertson scholars can take courses and engage in extracurriculars in their sister schools. The summer opportunities are divided into three categories—community, exploration, and launch summers—through which recipients engage in community building and cultural immersion, the expansion and exploration of interests, and an independent project.

While there are not ‘typical Robertson scholars,’ according to the website, four qualities are demonstrated by the scholars: purposeful leadership, intellectual curiosity, strength of character, and collaborative spirit. The scholarship was founded by Julian H. Robertson and his late wife Josie Robertson in 1996.

On her nomination, Baziuk said, “When I first heard that I was chosen, I was happy, but I was a little lost because all my college plans had changed.” On campus, Baziuk serves as a Girls Lower Prefect and a Varsity Fencing athlete. Her team won Bronze in the Cetrulo and Santelli tournament, the largest high school fencing tournament in the world. She appreciates that “the scholarship allows [her] to work on an independent project [in] freshman year because not many people get to do that, especially in big schools like Duke and the University of North Carolina.”

On the benefits of the scholarship, Paine said, “I’ve always been involved in social justice and equity work, and this program would give me the tools to become a leader in that field… The seminars and connections that the scholarship offers will help me understand the world and communities in a more holistic context.” Paine currently interns at Centurion Ministries in Princeton, a project that helps victims who have been wrongly convicted of rape and murder. She also assists HomeWorks, a non-profit boarding school for young girls in Trenton. To build on her work at HomeWorks, Paine has started her own community Service program at Lawrenceville, called HomeWorks Active Citizens: Our Community in Context. The nominees were selected through a three-part process: recommendation from a faculty member, nominations from the college counselors, and final selection based on the expectations of the scholarship programs. As the year progresses, Baziuk, Paine, and other scholarship nominees will work with the college counselors to craft individual applications specific to their scholarship and prepare for the follow-up interviews.