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Baylor alumna wins Marshall scholarship

Jan. 17, 2001

Student will study at Oxford University



Baylor administration, faculty and alumni are always looking for ways to get Baylor students the recognition they deserve on a national level. One Baylor University graduate has done just that. Cinnamon P. Gilbreath, now a third-year law student at the University of California-Berkeley, was one of 40 students nationwide to receive the Marshall Scholarship in 2001. The scholarship will send Gilbreath to study at England's prestigious Oxford University. The Marshall Scholarship was founded in 1953 for American students by the British government as gratitude for the United States assistance in World War II.

Gilbreath's main concerns are the same as they were when she was at Baylor -- the environment and economic development. While at Baylor, Gilbreath was involved with Econnections, an organization dedicated to educating schoolchildren about their environment. Gilbreath fondly remembers going to Mountain View Elementary in 1996 and showing the students how to grow lima beans.

'It was amazing to see how such a simple and unimportant event like watching a lima bean grow could get these kids so excited,' Gilbreath said. 'It is so important to get kids interested in the environment at a young age. Other countries do this very well, but this is one area I would like to improve in our country.'

Gilbreath also has another tie to Baylor. Her father teaches in the Hankamer School of Business. Dr. Kent Gilbreath, professor of economics, said his daughter was interested in the environment at an early age.

'Cinnamon spent some time as a child at national parks and in the country at our ranch,' Gilbreath said. 'Her interest was further developed by the environmental consciousness of her teachers and her own curiosity.'

Gilbreath mentioned what an excellent job the environmental studies program and economics department did to prepare her for her future endeavors. She also thought that Dr. Bruce Cresson, former director of the University Scholars Program, did a wonderful job advising her on each of her classes.

'Cinnamon was always well prepared and had a positive attitude,' Cresson said. 'I advised her for four years, and she was a joy to work with. Cinnamon accomplished her goals by being very focused, and because of the University Scholars Program, she was able to include courses in her curriculum that she wouldn't have been able to fit in.'

'The University Scholars Program allowed me to get a very broad education,' Gilbreath said. 'The environment is holistic, and so was my education.'

Gilbreath said she wants people to understand that the environment and economic development can go hand in hand.

After her studies at Oxford, Gilbreath is keeping her slate clean. However, she knows she wants to be involved in some sort of international environmental policy.

'I want to be a part of the policies toward the environment rather than the law aspect,' Gilbreath said. 'I would love to be involved in the United Nations environmental programme or the committee for sustainable development.'

Dr. Gilbreath thinks his daughter will learn about scientific approaches to the environment, but more importantly about 'developing policy at an international level by learning from the different backgrounds of all the students she will be in contact with.'