Senior Kyra Jasper named 2023 Marshall Scholar
Stanford history major and human rights minor Kyra Jasper is a recipient of the 2023 Marshall Scholarship, which will support her graduate studies at the University of London and the London School of Economics.
“I am so humbled to receive this award and am eager to continue my studies in the U.K. next year,” Jasper said.
The scholarship provides American students with financial support to pursue a graduate degree in any field at a university of their choice in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1953 to strengthen the relationship between the United States and the U.K. and is named for former U.S. Secretary of State and Army Gen. George Marshall, who formulated the Marshall Plan to aid economic development in Western Europe after World War II. The 2023 cohort includes 40 talented students from across the U.S.
As a Marshall Scholar, Jasper will read for an MA in international law at the University of London SOAS and an MSc in international and Asian history at the London School of Economics (LSE). She hopes her graduate studies will support her long-term goal of becoming a scholar in Southeast Asian legal history.
“While studying at SOAS and LSE, I will receive structured training in a field I have only really engaged in through working in Indonesia. This knowledge will be an important foundation for me before pursuing a PhD,” she said. “I am also excited by the questions that these programs are asking about the relationship between colonialism and international law.”
Jasper said that the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II has sparked conversations about the British monarchy and the U.K.’s colonial legacy, and how to discuss, remember, and respond to the impacts of colonization.
“For someone interested in Southeast Asia and these countries’ legal systems, I think these questions are important to engage with, especially in the wake of increasing U.K. foreign policy towards the region,” she said.
Jasper is from Cary, North Carolina. She enrolled at Stanford in 2017 and later took two gap years during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which she learned Bahasa Indonesia as a Boren Scholar and interned for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. In 2021, she returned to Stanford to complete her undergraduate studies and will graduate next spring with a BA in history and a minor in human rights.
Outside of academics, she has worked for the Indonesian Institute for an Independent Judiciary, first as an intern researching Indonesia’s blasphemy and freedom of expression laws, and later as a junior researcher. She also interned at the Center for Civil Liberties where she helped lead a campaign in Ukraine advocating for the release of nearly 100 Ukrainian political prisoners held captive in Russia on falsified charges and without due process.
Jasper also founded the Stanford Southeast Asia Forum, which is one of the first undergraduate student organizations focused on discussing and engaging with Southeast Asia in the United States.
In addition to her teachers and mentors, Jaspers credits the support of Stanford staff with helping her receive the Marshall Scholarship.
“I am so grateful for the guidance and support from the Office of Global Scholarships, and especially John Pearson, Diane Murk, Shalini Bhutani, and Elsa Gontrum for their help during the application process,” she said.
Stanford students interested in overseas scholarships and Stanford faculty interested in nominating students for such awards should contact Diane Murk, manager of the Office of Global Scholarships at dmurk [at] stanford.edu, of the Bechtel International Center.