News for faculty and staff

Contact | Past Issues

Week of October 11, 2010

Six nominated for Rhodes, Marshall scholarships

The Provost’s Council on Student Honors has selected six top scholars to represent the university in competition for the prestigious Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships. The students hail from such diverse disciplines as violin performance, theatre, space science engineering, ancient civilizations and political science.

“The students we have nominated for the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships this year remind us of the breadth of opportunity U-M offers,” says Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs and senior counselor to the president. “They are scholars, performers, and organizers. All of them, in addition to maintaining almost perfect academic records, have been engaged in their communities and around the world. We are extremely proud of these students and confident that they will leave a positive mark on the world.”

The Rhodes Scholarships allow outstanding students from many countries to study at the University of Oxford. Marshall Scholarships finance Americans who wish to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Faculty members of the Provost’s Council on Student Honors mentor students through the complicated but educational process of applying for these scholarships.

The nominees are:

• Paula Muldoon of Falmouth, Mass., who this year received her Bachelor of Music in violin performance, is nominated for the Marshall Scholarship. Muldoon’s interest in English history led her to write a novel set in Tudor England, which was a finalist in the 2010 Hopwood contest, and she performs with symphony orchestras, teaches violin and takes part in an young adult outreach ministry. She hopes to use the Marshall Scholarship to pursue a Master of Music in violin performance at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.  

• Jim Manganello of Chicago, who graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in history and English literature, is nominated for the Marshall Scholarship. He was a contributing editor and columnist for the student newspaper The Michigan Independent, and directed productions for Basement Arts and Rude Mechanicals in the Duderstadt Video Studio. He continues theatre work in Chicago. If he is awarded a Marshall Scholarship, he will study directing at the University of London.

• Ian Tobasco of Grand Rapids, an accomplished musician who elected to study aerospace engineering with a minor in mathematics, is nominated for the Marshall Scholarship. He recently participated in a mathematics competition, where he worked on an algorithm for the computation of turbulent fluid flow. The project resulted in a testable computational method, which could lead to a faster and more accurate way to simulate turbulent flow in channels and pipes. He hopes to use the Marshall Scholarship to study Part III of the Mathematical Tripos at Cambridge University.

• Samuel Burns of Incheon, South Korea, who graduated in May with dual degrees in ancient civilizations, Biblical studies and philosophy, is nominated for the Marshall Scholarship. His goal is to combine multiple educational fields “into a coherent method of studying the ancient world.” If selected for the Marshall Scholarship, Burns plans to study for a Master of Philosophy in Egyptology.

• Kelly Goodman of Bloomfield Hills, who graduated in May with degrees in history, economics and political science, is nominated for Rhodes and Marshall scholarships. Her honors thesis examined public education, especially in Detroit. She did original research on court-ordered busing, efforts to equalize funding among urban/rural/suburban districts and the recent focus on school choice. She hopes to use the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships to study for a Master of Philosophy in economic and social history at Oxford.

• Dara Fisher of Concord, Mass., who will graduate this spring with a degree in Earth system science from the College of Engineering, is nominated for the Marshall Scholarhip. She has been a student leader as president of the Shipman Society, president of the U-M Engineering Council, and Editor-in-Chief of The All-Nighter, the CoE student newspaper. At the Drake Laboratory, she conducted research on improving X-ray radiography for astrophysics experiments. She was a space policy intern at the National Research Council Space Studies Board last summer. The Marshall would allow her to study at the London Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology.

To be eligible for the Rhodes or Marshall scholarships, students must have completed an undergraduate degree by the fall in which the scholarship begins. Successful candidates usually have a GPA of 3.8 or better and have participated in activities that demonstrate leadership and commitment.

“I am also proud of the work done by the Provost’s Council on Student Honors to prepare these students for the rigors of the Rhodes and Marshall selection process,” Monts says.

Co-chairs Kevin Korsyn, professor of music, and Scott Hershovitz, assistant professor of law, led the council in providing advice and encouragement as the nominees prepare their applications. Council members who helped with this year’s selection include Timothy McKay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics and Astronomy and director of LSA Honors Program; Laura Ruetsche, professor of philosophy; Lorraine Gutierrez, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology and Social Work; Elizabeth Goodenough, lecturer IV in English, Residential College; Elleanor Crown, academic advisory, LSA Honors Program; and Gretchen Weir, assistant vice provost.

Additional information about the selection process can be found at



Ted Wakar, Cook II, on performing at an ice-carving competition at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics: “It’s always pleasant to be able to show something you’re passionate about to the people.”


Affinity of Form: Photography of Stanford Lipsey, noon-6 p.m. through Nov. 2, Duderstadt Center Gallery.

View Events
Submit Events