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Updated 3:00 PM October 12, 2005




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  Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell scholarships
Nominees boast diverse academic interests

Seven current or recently graduated students have been nominated by the University to compete for the prestigious Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell scholarships.

The students, who were chosen by the Provost's Council on Student Honors, will know by the middle of this month whether they have been selected to move to the next stage of their respective competitions.

The students, their hometowns and nominations are:

Britta Ameel of Salt Lake City, graduate student in English language and literature—Marshall and Mitchell scholarships. A prize-winning published poet, Ameel hopes to do further study in creative writing at Cambridge University or at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

Margo Brenner of Wakarusa, Ind., 2005 graduate, bachelor of fine arts in performance with a concentration in directing, Department of Theater and Drama—Mitchell Scholarship. Brenner, who wanted the School of Music to be represented among the scholarship nominees, hopes to continue toward her goal of becoming a director by pursuing a master of fine arts degree at one of several schools in London.

Lyric Chen of Madison, Wis., LSA senior in political science and economics—Marshall and Rhodes scholarships. Chen wants to study at the Center for Socio-Legal Studies at Oxford University, and to pursue a career in public service, specifically in the area of labor policy development.

Spencer Dowdall of Coral Springs, Fla., LSA Honors senior in the Concurrent Undergraduate/Graduate Studies program, working towards a bachelor of science in honors mathematics and master of science in mathematics and physics—Marshall and Rhodes scholarships. Dowdall, also a member of the U-M track and field team, plans to pursue a doctorate in mathematics and become a university professor.

Allison Gorsuch of Plymouth, Minn., LSA Honors senior in American culture, society and politics—Marshall and Rhodes scholarships. Gorsuch is interested in studying at either Oxford University or the University of London how racial ideologies and land use have been connected in history and in modern times.

Ashley Jardina of Chesterfield, Va., LSA Honors senior in political science—Marshall and Rhodes scholarships. Jardina hopes to continue her studies at either Oxford University or the University of London with a long-term goal of earning a doctorate in political science, and eventually doing research that will lead to a role in developing public policy.

Carlos Sayao of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, College of Engineering senior in civil engineering and environmental economics—Rhodes Scholarship. A U-M swimmer who has represented Canada in various competitions around the world, Sayao is interested in studying environmental change and management at Oxford University, with a particular interest in the overlap between environmental and social policy.

John O'Shea, curator of the Museum of Anthropology, professor of anthropology, and co-chair of the Provost's Council on Student Honors, says this year's group of nominees is remarkable for its diversity of academic interests.

"This reflects a conscious strategy by the council to getting the word out across campus to our students, so many of whom have the qualities the major scholarship committees are looking for," says O'Shea, himself a Rhodes Scholar.

In pursuing its goal to increase participation, the council held information sessions during the Winter Term on both Central and North campuses. "As a result of these efforts, we have a really competitive group here that also happens to be regionally diverse," O'Shea says.

Along with O'Shea and co-chair Jessica Hahn, associate professor of theatre and drama, members of the Provost's Council on Student Honors for 2005-06 are: David Porter, interim director of the Honors Program, and associate professor of English and comparative literature; Elleanor Crown, academic advisor/counselor, Honors Program; George Shirley, Joseph Edgar Maddy Distinguished University Professor of Music; Kevin Korsyn, professor of music theory; Elizabeth Goodenough, lecturer in English, Residential College; Lorraine Gutierrez, professor of social work and psychology and faculty director of the Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning; Sandra Gregerman, Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program director; Susan Brown, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, associate dean for research and associate professor of movement science; Timothy Mckay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics; and Gretchen Weir, assistant vice provost for academic affairs.

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