Robert Clinton, a senior at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, has been selected as a 2016 Marshall Scholar.

Gallatin Senior Robert Clinton
NYU Gallatin Senior Robert Clinton, who was selected as a 2016 Marshall Scholar. Image courtesy of Matthew Lim.

Robert Clinton, a senior at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, has been selected as a 2016 Marshall Scholar. As a Marshall Scholar, he will pursue a Master of Science in Sustainable Urbanism and Master of Research in Interdisciplinary Urban Design from the Bartlett, University College London’s Faculty of the Built Environment.

The Marshall Scholarship finances young Americans of high ability to study for two degrees in the United Kingdom. It is the most selective postgraduate fellowship for American undergraduates and seeks to strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments, and their institutions.  

At NYU’s Gallatin School, students develop individualized programs of study, the central focus of which is the concentration—designed by students in consultation with an advisor—that is based on their academic and professional goals.

Clinton’s concentration at Gallatin is “The Sociology and Politics of Urban Agriculture.” His studies have taken him from an indigenous farm in Ghana during his sophomore Spring semester to Berlin this past summer where, as a Gallatin Global Fellow in Urban Practice, he conducted independent research on the relationship between religion, environmentalism, and national identity as expressed in the sustainability practices of ethnic Germans and Muslim Turkish immigrants. Clinton is also the recipient of a Dean’s Award for Summer Research. His research compared the cultural cuisines of the Greek, Egyptian, and Italian enclaves in Astoria, Queens to the cooking of local peoples in Athens, Cairo, and Naples.

Overall, Clinton, a Richmond, California native and graduate of Saint Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, seeks to understand how to incorporate culture into the creation of socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable urban landscapes.

“As the world urbanizes, and cities evolve, we are presented with an opportunity to lessen our destructive behavior through sustainable social and infrastructural development,” he says. “This is contingent not only upon actions undertaken by municipal governments, but also requires citizens to feel empowered to shape their environments.”

Clinton’s knowledge and leadership were put into practice at Youth UpRising, an Oakland, California-based nonprofit, where he analyzed economic trends in the community and helped establish relationships between local businesses and unemployed youth. While at Gallatin, he worked as an intern at the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Special Investigations and in the Office of Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries.

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