Sponsored by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, the scholarship covers tuition and accommodations, as well as stipends for living expenses and travel, for one academic year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This year 306 applied for the scholarship.
Balasubramanian, from San Ramon, California, is double-majoring in statistics and philosophy in the Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a Joseph Wharton Scholar, and has been a research assistant in the Computational Social Science Lab and Penn Medicine.
As a member of the student-run Penn Debate Society, he has achieved top-10 competitive debate finishes, including several tournament championships. He also coaches debate for underserved students through the Philadelphia Afterschool Activities Partnership. He has been a project leader for the nonprofit Wharton MUSE (Marketing Undergraduate Students Establishment) Consulting.
He was a 2020 Cambridge Effective Altruism Fellow and a 2019 Salaam Fellow for Conflict Resolution. He received a 2018 National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarship. His research, writing, and poetry have been included in various publications, including the Penn Undergraduate Law Journal. He is a cellist in the Penn Baroque Ensemble.
With the Mitchell Scholarship, Balasubramanian plans to pursue a master’s degree in philosophy at Trinity College Dublin.
The Mitchell Scholarship, named in honor of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, is designed to introduce and connect future American leaders to Ireland while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.
Balasubramanian applied for the scholarship with the support of Penn’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowship. He is the sixth Penn student to receive the scholarship since the inaugural class of Mitchell Scholars in 2001.