Skip to main content


Haley Howard

Haley Howard '21, a political science and ethnic studies double major, was awarded a prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

Santa Clara University political science and ethnic studies double major Haley Howard ’21 is a recipient of the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship supports students living outside the United Kingdom in their pursuit of postgraduate degrees at the University of Cambridge. Established in 2000 through a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the scholarship is awarded to approximately 80 students per year and funds studies in any program. This year, 23 scholars were selected from the United States.

“I am honored to be selected for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship and excited by the tremendous opportunity this fellowship provides,” said Howard. “I look forward to leveraging this incredible experience to achieve my goals and effect positive change in the world.”

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is known to be more student-focused than other international fellowships. A council of scholars develops the annual programming, tailoring it to the needs and interests of each cohort. The flexible and collaborative nature of the program is among the key factors that attracted Howard to apply for the award.

The application process differs from many other international fellowships. In order to be considered for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, applicants must first be accepted to the University of Cambridge. Each program of study may then recommend candidates for Gates Cambridge funding. Applicants typically do not know whether their application moved forward until final decisions have been made.

“Haley is the first Santa Clara University graduate to be selected for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship and she is beyond deserving of this distinction,” said Naomi Levy, director of SCU’s Office of Student Fellowships. “Throughout her time at Santa Clara, Haley demonstrated her academic prowess and showed unwavering commitment to bettering the lives of those around her through both word and action.”

Howard boasts an impressive resume from her time at Santa Clara University. Named valedictorian of the Class of 2021, Howard participated in the University Honors program. During her junior year, she represented SCU as a visiting scholar at Oxford’s Mansfield College, a pivotal experience in her decision to pursue the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society; Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honors Society, and Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit colleges and universities. She also earned a Bernard L. Kronick Award for Excellence in Research in American Politics.

Howard is an active advocate for social justice for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color at SCU and beyond. As a student, she was a first-year representative and later co-chair of Igwebuike, the University’s Black Student Union. She was also co-chair of the Inclusive Excellence Student Advisory Council and was awarded a Joseph A. Grassi Social Justice Award. Today, she is working with Santa Clara University’s Anti-Racist Teaching Collective to promote inclusive instruction on campus.

While at the University of Cambridge, Howard will study towards a Masters of Philosophy in Multidisciplinary Gender Studies. After completing her degree, Howard plans to return to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D. or J.D./Ph.D.

About the Gates Cambridge Scholarship

The Gates Cambridge mission is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others. It aims to achieve this mission by selecting outstanding scholars, providing them with financial and non-financial support at one of the world’s leading universities and facilitating community building at and beyond Cambridge. Each year Gates Cambridge offers approximately 80 full-cost scholarships to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. Approximately two-thirds of these awards will be offered to PhD students, with approximately 25 awards available in the US round and 55 available in the International round. Learn more here.

Haley Howard