Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

U-M nominee wins Marshall Scholarship to study in the U.K.

Spencer Smith, who graduated from U-M with highest distinction in April 2011, has been awarded a Marshall Scholarship to study for a graduate degree in the United Kingdom.

  Spencer Smith

Smith of Washington, D.C., is the 16th U-M student to have been awarded a Marshall since the scholarship was founded in 1953. No more than 40 scholars are selected each year.

The Provost's Council on Student Honors nominated Smith and two other top university scholars for the Marshall this year. He was one of two U-M students nominated as well for the Rhodes scholarship.

"We are proud that for the second year in a row a Michigan student is among the 40 Marshall Scholars. They are an impressive group, and Spencer, with his dedication to public affairs, is an excellent representative of the University of Michigan. I congratulate him and the faculty members in economics and the Honors College who launched him on his promising career," said Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs.

In an essay accompanying his scholarship application, Smith said that at Michigan he found immense purpose in coursework and research: "I fell for the rigor and exactness of economics and mathematics. In short order, I found myself waist-deep in differential equations, financial theory and microeconometrics."

Today, Smith works as a research economist for the President's Council of Economic Advisors.

At U-M, Smith earned degrees in economics with highest honors and mathematics. His honors and awards included the Jonathan Ferrando Prize in Economics for best undergraduate thesis. Smith interned for the U.S. Department of the Treasury Troubled Asset Relief Program and participated in community service programs. He hopes to study economics at Oxford University.

Marshall scholars study at the graduate level at a U.K. institution in any field of study, as stated at the program's website. Program goals include helping scholars gain an understanding and appreciation of contemporary Britain; contributing to the advancement of knowledge in science, technology, the humanities and social sciences and the creative arts at Britain's centers of academic excellence; and acting as ambassadors from the U.S. to the U.K. and vice versa throughout their lives, thus strengthening British-American understanding.