Arushi Avachat selected as 2024 Marshall Scholar

Published: December 13, 2023
Arushi AvachatArushi Avachat (Photo: Haven Hunt)
Kayla McCormack | 

Arushi Avachat, who plans to graduate in June with degrees in English and political science and a South Asian studies minor, is the latest UCLA student to win the prestigious Marshall Scholarship.

This is the third consecutive year in which a UCLA student or alumnus has received the highly competitive scholarship, which funds up to three years of graduate study in the United Kingdom for U.S. undergraduates or recent graduates.

Avachat is one of 51 winners chosen from among more than 1,000 applicants for 2024. She plans to pursue master’s degrees in English and American studies, and in global and imperial history at the University of Oxford.

The Pleasanton, California, native said she is looking forward to the experience, partly because she hopes to use England as a home base for travels to other parts of Europe, and partly because of one of her own literary inspirations.

“I’m an enormous Jane Austen fan,” she said. “So I’ll be excited for every Austen landscape I can go to in the U.K., and I’m hoping to see every setting from the 2005 ‘Pride and Prejudice’ movie.”

The new year is shaping up to be an exciting one for Avachat. Beyond her graduation and the Marshall award, her debut novel, “Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment,” is scheduled to be published in January by Macmillan.

She drafted the manuscript for the novel during her first year at UCLA. “As a COVID freshman, writing my novel was often a meaningful escape from the stress and uncertainties of that time,” Avachat said in a 2022 UCLA College Magazine article.

She already has a contract for another young adult novel, which she is drafting as a part of her English honors thesis.

In addition to her writing, Avachat has been pursuing her keen interest in public service as an intern for California Senator Alex Padilla and EMILYs List.

“Both fields have helped me realize how storytelling works to generate empathy, shape public opinion and help people feel seen,” Avachat said in the College Magazine interview.

Avachat intends to continue exploring both publishing and politics.

“I’ll always be writing novels, and I have various genres I’m interested in,” she said. “I want to write a murder mystery one day — a fantasy as well. I’m really creatively excited and energized about my publishing goals. And I really liked applying my writing background to the political field, and I’d be interested in campaign communications for candidates that I feel really excited about.”

Avachat worked with the UCLA Center for Scholarships & Scholar Enrichment to complete her application and prepare for the interview. The center provides writing workshops, individual counseling, interview preparation and assistance with institutional endorsements to UCLA undergraduates who are applying for scholarships.

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