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Maggie Sardino Named a 2023 Marshall Scholar
Maggie Sardino, a senior majoring in writing and rhetoric in the College of Arts and Sciences and citizenship and civic engagement in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, has been named a 2023 Marshall Scholar.
Founded in 1953, the Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a graduate degree at an institution in the United Kingdom in any field of study. Sardino was one of 40 students selected from around the country and is Syracuse University’s fifth Marshall Scholar.
Sardino will study in the U.K. for two years. During the first year, she will pursue a master’s degree in digital humanities at King’s College London. During the second year, she will pursue a master’s degree in applied anthropology and community arts at Goldsmiths, University of London.
“Receiving this award is such an amazing honor and a critical step towards to achieving my goals. Studying in the U.K., which is rich with innovative public storytelling initiatives, will be invaluable to my future career in community-based storytelling. Pursuing my master’s at King’s College London will enable me to learn from leading scholars in the field of digital humanities and in an institutional environment that clearly values the role of non-academic communities in research,” Sardino says. “Being awarded the Marshall Scholarship would not have been possible without the guidance and support of the Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising, my mentors within Syracuse University and across the City of Syracuse and the unwavering support of my family.”
“The Marshall Scholarship selects students based on three criteria: academic merit, leadership potential and ambassadorial potential,” says Jolynn Parker, director of the Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising (CFSA). “Maggie’s outstanding record of scholarly achievement, her leadership in our community and her ambassadorial temperament make her an excellent fit. She has very clear plans for graduate study in the U.K. and for a future dedicated to making storytelling a powerful mechanism for peacebuilding and social justice in the U.S and beyond. This extraordinary award will help her achieve those goals.”
After earning the degrees in the U.K., Sardino plans to pursue a Ph.D. in composition and cultural rhetoric with an emphasis on public engagement and digital rhetoric. She then plans to seek an academic position in writing and digital storytelling and serve as a consultant to a community-based storytelling organization. Her goal is to lead a national nonprofit organization that equips communities with traditional and digital storytelling skills to foster social justice.
“The U.S. and U.K. are facing similarly pressing problems including political turmoil,
energy crises and border and immigration emergencies. In countries dealing with
such urgent issues, promoting community-based storytelling may seem non-
essential,” Sardino says. “However, I see storytelling as a way to build the connections and mutual understanding that solutions to these problems will require. By building and maintaining connections in the U.K., I hope to develop joint storytelling programs focused on empowering communities with creative skills and innovative perspectives.”
During her time at Syracuse, Sardino has been a storyteller through the Narratio Fellowship program, a storytelling workshop partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences and Syracuse’s Northside Learning Center, and the SU Globalists publication.
“Being able to work with the Narratio Fellowship and the Globalists publication has been an absolute honor. I have learned so much from these experiences. The most valuable lesson has been recognizing the responsibility I have as a storyteller. Narratives have the ability to empower communities, forge connections and challenge falsehoods,” Sardino said in a previous interview with SU News. “Both of these programs have instilled in me that reflecting on the impact of your work and acknowledging the larger context it exists within is crucial to being an ethical storyteller. My work with the Narratio Fellowship has also imparted to me the responsibility storytellers have to equip others with the tools they need to share their own stories on their own terms.”
As a research assistant with City Scripts, Sardino wrote, directed, produced
and co-edited a documentary on a public housing complex in Syracuse exploring
current plans to replace the complex with mixed-income housing. As an organizer and presenter with The Most Beautiful Home… Maybe, a national theatrical project focused on elevating the perspectives of public housing residents and influencing housing policy, she co-designed and led community workshops around place-based historical and personal narratives which empowered communities to share their stories of home.
“These experiences have demonstrated how absolutely critical it is that those whose voices are often decentered and silenced have a platform to share their own stories. Ensuring that marginalized communities have the space and tools to share their own experiences and narratives, creates a greater potential for cross cultural connections and for public policy to be equitable.”
Through the Engaged Humanities Network (EHN), Sardino has had the opportunity to research how universities assess their publicly engaged initiatives and how we can foster greater connections across these types of initiatives.
“The work I have done with the EHN has been fundamental to my desire to study in the U.K., where I hope to gain a better understanding of how partnerships between governmental agencies, the nonprofit sector and universities can support community-based storytelling,” she says.
Sardino is a Coronat Scholar, Remembrance Scholar, member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program and 2022 Fulbright Canada Mitacs Globalink Scholar. Through the Fulbright Mitacs award, she worked on a digital humanities project at the University of Victoria in British Columbia focused on making humanities scholarship more open, inclusive and accessible to non-academic audiences. As part of that experience, she helped to organize and facilitate the 2022 Digital Humanities Summer Institute, a gathering of hundreds of scholars, faculty and staff from the arts, humanities, library and archives communities to share cutting-edge digital humanities work.
Students interested in applying for national scholarships that require University endorsement, such as the Marshall Scholarship, should complete an “intent to apply” form with Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising by the end of June 2023 and plan to work with CFSA.