Sammy Weiss-Cowie Receives Coveted Gates Cambridge Scholarship

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This story by Shannon Dobranski and Cory Hopkins first appeared in the Office of Undergraduate Education newsroom.

As an undergraduate at Georgia Tech, Samuel “Sammy” Weiss-Cowie received the Leddy Family scholarship from 2018 through Fall 2021. He earned a BS in Neuroscience and BS in Applied Language and Intercultural Studies, along with a minor in Linguistics, in December of 2021.

Weiss-Cowie’s double major in applied linguistics and international studies (Korean) and neuroscience uniquely prepared him to pursue his interest in how language is processed by the brain and to explore specifically how brains decipher ambiguous words — in new language acquisition or when the native language is heard with unfamiliar accents or background noise.

Says Weiss-Cowie, “By discovering what scenarios allow for optimal word learning, I hope to inform more effective methods in language pedagogy.”

Weiss-Cowie credits Prestigious Fellowships Advising with alerting him to the Gates Cambridge opportunity. He also participated in a five-week writing seminar convened by Prestigious Fellowships Advisor Karen Mura, Ph.D. to prepare his application. His advice for new students considering such opportunities is to “take the chance to explore topics and courses outside of your primary discipline.”

That ability to connect across academic disciplines, along with the resources of the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, influenced Weiss-Cowie to pursue study at Cambridge. “I was intrigued by the college system unique to Cambridge (and Oxford), which enables frequent interaction with people working in a wide range of fields,” he says.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship will support Weiss-Cowie’s degree by providing full tuition, as well as a living stipend, regular program events, and a community of highly motivated scholars selected for their academic merits, their fit with their proposed graduate program, their commitment to improving the lives of others, and their leadership potential.

Established with an endowment provided by the Gates Foundation in 2000, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship supports graduate study at Cambridge by students from outside the United Kingdom. The program sponsors approximately 80 scholars each year, 25 of whom are selected from the United States. Recipients are drawn from approximately 5,000 applicants for Cambridge’s graduate programs.

For more information about Prestgious Fellowships, visit or contact:

Prestigious Fellowships is a part of the Office of Undergraduate Education. Follow @gtoue to learn more.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: jhunt7
  • Created: 02/21/2022
  • Modified By: jhunt7
  • Modified: 02/21/2022


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