Campus News

UGA alumna Patricia Andrews Fearon named Gates Cambridge Scholar

Athens, Ga. — University of Georgia alumna Patricia Andrews Fearon was one of 36 Americans to be named a 2017 recipient of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which fully funds postgraduate study and research at the University of Cambridge in England.

The scholarship, which recognizes intellectually outstanding postgraduate students with a capacity for leadership and a commitment to improving the lives of others, was established by a gift from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Fearon is the seventh UGA student or alumnus to receive the award since it was first awarded in 2001.

“Patricia’s achievement reflects the excellent preparation our students receive to compete for the most prestigious international scholarships,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “The University of Georgia is proud that she is carrying on our land-grant tradition of applying her education to improve the lives of others around the world.”

Fearon earned a bachelor’s degree in religion from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2009 before going on to earn a master’s degree in the study of religions from the University of Oxford. She studied social and cognitive psychology as a post-baccalaureate scholar at the University of California-Berkeley.

As a journalist, she has traveled to more than 40 countries and worked with media outlets such as CNN and Time Inc. In addition, she worked with non-governmental organizations such as Room to Read and cycled across France for her documentary, “The Tour de Farm.” In 2015 she joined the IC Thinking Research Team, through which she has collaborated on studies and intervention designs that tackle sectarianism, violent extremism and other forms of intergroup conflict in Bosnia, Pakistan and Scotland. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology at Cambridge University’s Selwyn College, through which she looks forward to “exploring the ways we can learn to listen in even the most hostile environments.”

“Patricia’s success in earning a Gates Cambridge Scholarship reflects well on her and the many faculty members who have educated and mentored her,” said UGA Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten. “She has already accomplished so much since graduating from the University of Georgia, and this highly competitive honor underscores her extraordinary potential for the future.”

Approximately 800 candidates from across the United States applied for the scholarship. The 36 U.S. Scholars-elect will join 54 new Gates Cambridge Scholars from other parts of the world to complete the Class of 2017. They will join current Gates Cambridge Scholars in October to form a community of approximately 220 Scholars in residence at the world-leading University of Cambridge.

For more information on the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship, see