Two U-M students named Marshall Scholars
Written by Josephine Tolin
ANN ARBOR—Two University of Michigan students are among 48 American undergraduates to receive the prestigious Marshall Scholarship for graduate study at a British university next year.
Amanda Burcoff and Noah McNeal, seniors in the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, are U-M’s 8th and 9th Marshall Scholars, and the first since 2013.
The scholarship provides the full cost of attendance for graduate study in any field at any United Kingdom institution. Scholars are selected based on their academic merit, leadership and ambassadorial potential.
“The Marshall Scholarship ranks among the most prestigious academic awards, and their notable alumni include current Supreme Court justices,” said Henry Dyson, director of the U-M Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships. “It’s very special to have two recipients in the same year.”
Founded by a 1953 Act of Parliament, and named in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Marshall Scholarship commemorates the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan.
“I’ll be at Cambridge University during the first year, so I’m very excited to meet some of the researchers whose works have influenced me,” said Burcoff, who will study combinatorics, a subfield of mathematics, in a one-year master’s program.
Burcroff was a freshman at U-M when she stumbled across an invitation to a university dinner honoring Marshall and Rhodes scholarship nominees. There, she met a fellow Michigan math student who was in the running for the scholarship.
“It made me realize that this was something I should keep on my radar,” said Burcroff, who will also pursue another master’s degree in mathematics and computer science at the University of Oxford during her second year.
For McNeal, a physics major, winning the Marshall Scholarship represents an opportunity to pursue his research interests, which lie at the intersection of science and public policy.
He will spend the first year studying science policy at the University of Sussex and then pursue a second master’s degree in nuclear engineering at Imperial College London.
Dyson, who oversees the scholarship programs at U-M, said his office works with students throughout the university as well as recent alumni to match their interests with U.K. graduate programs.
“The scholarship helps students move forward and think how this fits towards their goals and life story,” Dyson said.