Scholarships and Fellowships

Clay Magill (Chemistry)
winston Churchill Winner, 2006

University of Pittsburgh Honors College senior Clayton Magill, an Arts and Sciences student majoring in chemistry and geology with a minor in German, has been named a Churchill Scholar by the Winston Churchill Foundation for his exceptional ability and outstanding academic achievement. This is the first year the University was invited to participate in the Churchill Scholarship competition; invited schools may nominate up to two candidates.

Magill completed the Bachelor of Philosophy degree in Pitt’s Honors College. He is interested in the multidisciplinary paleoenvironmental study of lake sediments from the Limnes Basin in Western Crete and plans to study the Quaternary Science coursework at the University of Cambridge’s Churchill College under the direction of Philip Gibbard, a noted authority in paleolimnology.

Magill has a passion for chemistry, viewing it as a science of color, energy, and movement. His research has included independent work in chemistry, in which he investigated chemical processes in the brain to learn more about Parkinson’s disease. He also conducted fieldwork in Greece using geochemistry to study environmental variability to address threats to the environment. His work was completed under the direction of Arts and Sciences faculty Adrian Michael, associate professor in chemistry, and Michael Rosenmeier, assistant professor in geology and planetary sciences.

A dedicated volunteer, Magill is committed to helping others. He volunteers at the Jubilee Soup Kitchen, serving food and altering and repairing the clothing of the homeless; Point Prevention Pittsburgh, providing education and assistance to individuals with drug dependencies; Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, working as an art therapy counselor in the oncology ward; the Free Ride program in Wilkinsburg, teaching others to build bikes that are given away; and Pitt’s Saturday Science program, tutoring urban youth in science.

While in high school, Magill trained as a cyclist and competed on the professional cycling circuit. He was one of the top-ranked junior cyclists in the United States, competing in a mountain bike race at the National Off-Road Bicycle Association’s National One in Big Bear, Calif., in 2001. While in the United Kingdom, Magill plans to bike across England.