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English Major Ellie McKeown Named 2024 Thouron Scholar

Congratulations to English Major Ellie McKeown, who has been named a 2024 Thouron Scholar!

Ellie McKeown, from Philadelphia, is a triple-major: in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies with a concentration in health and disability; in biology; and in English in the College. McKeown, who identifies as an autistic self-advocate, is interested in studying autism in a sociological context, focusing on broadening autism research to better reflect the community it represents. They are currently working as an autism research assistant in the Edward Brodkin Lab at the Perelman School of Medicine, and as an archival assistant in the Rare Book Collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia. McKeown is one of the founders and co-leaders of Advocates for Neurodiversity and a member of NeuroQueer at Penn, two new student groups. A Philadelphia Mayor’s Scholar, McKeown has received several research grants, including from the Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program, College Houses and Academic Services Undergraduate Research Program, and the Penn Student Neurodiversity Advocacy Initiative. They also have been a consultant and organized autism and disability advocacy workshops for Penn, Temple University, and Drexel University. McKeown is also a board member of Stimulus Children’s Theater. As a Thouron scholar, McKeown plans to pursue a master’s degree in social research at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. 


To see the full list of 2024 Thouron Scholars, visit