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>  News Releases >   2007 >   November

Dartmouth student leader named Mitchell Scholar

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 11/20/07 • Rebecca Bailey • (603) 646-3661

Travis Green
Travis Green (photo courtesy of the Scholarship Advising Office)

Travis Green, 20, a Dartmouth senior from West Palm Beach, Fla., has been awarded a 2008-2009 George J. Mitchell Scholarship. The scholarships are awarded annually to 12 Americans under the age of 30, to pursue a year of post-graduate study at any university on the island of Ireland.

Green, who is currently completing a special major in natural and artificial intelligence while also serving as student body president, hopes to use his scholarship to pursue a doctorate degree in neuroscience at University College Dublin. Specifically, he plans to work with the university's Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, conducting research on the genetic changes that pain causes in the brain.

For Green, the Mitchell is a big step toward a hoped-for career investigating ways computer software, neuroscience, and genetics can inform one another. "In the long term, I hope to continue to build on my research here at Dartmouth and in Ireland to build a computer model that uses genetically-derived rules to simulate the human brain," Green said.

Green entered Dartmouth interested in how policy can impact our lives but soon became engrossed in science and technology. As a Presidential Scholar in his junior year, he worked as a paid research assistant to Dartmouth Medical School Professor Maiko Saito in studies of the molecular genetics of the nematode C. elegans. As a participant in the Africa Foreign Study program during his junior year, he researched the Boskop skull, believed to have belonged to a hominid with mental capabilities beyond those of modern humans. In his current internship with Dartmouth's Neukom Institute for Computational Science, he has constructed parts of algorithms that mimic human brain function, built robot-control software that behaves like motor neurons, and worked toward his self-designed independent major, which focuses on the genetic basis for the growth of the human brain and the potential for computer systems that self-organize along similar rules.

Green also has led freshmen fall trips since his sophomore year and was a legislative intern to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) in 2006, researching science and policy issues. He has rowed on the heavyweight crew since his freshman year.

The Mitchell awards are named after former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine), who spearheaded the historic Good Friday Agreement of 1998 that produced peace in Northern Ireland. According to its website, the Mitchell Scholarship program "recognizes outstanding young Americans who exhibit the highest standards of academic excellence, leadership and community service" and "seeks to link future American leaders with the island of Ireland." The 12 new scholars were selected from more than 300 applications from 139 different schools from all over the country.

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