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Oct. 2, 2015

Five nominated for Rhodes, other prominent graduate school scholarships

Five Michigan State University students have been nominated for major graduate school scholarship awards – the Marshall Scholarship, Mitchell Scholarship and Rhodes Scholarship.

MSU’s nominees for the Rhodes Scholarship include:

• Sarah Kovan, an Honors College senior majoring in comparative cultures and politics in the James Madison College and human biology in the College of Natural Science
• Irene Li, an Honors College senior majoring in genetics and molecular genomics in the College of Natural Science and interdisciplinary studies in social science in the College of Social Science
• Aaron Oom, an Honors College senior majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology in the Lyman Briggs College
• Lauren Straley, an Honors College senior majoring in English in the College of Arts and Letters

Li and Oom have additionally been nominated for the Marshall Scholarship. Kovan and Andrew Pomaville, a senior majoring in history in the College of Social Science, have also been nominated for the Mitchell Scholarship.

All the scholarships support U.S. citizens attending graduate school in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

“These students have pursued different paths as undergraduates, gaining insight and knowledge in their respective fields,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the Honors College. “MSU is proud to nominate these talented students for the Marshall, Mitchell and Rhodes scholarships.”

Kovan, from Okemos, is a starting midfielder and honorary captain for the MSU women’s soccer team, earning Academic All Big-Ten Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014, along with the 2015 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award and MSU Scholar-Athlete Award.

Li, from Canton, is a global initiatives intern for the Henry Ford Health System, a College of Natural Science Dean’s Research Scholar and MSU Department of Student Life Leader of the Year for founding TEDxMSU. She’s also an Alumni Distinguished Scholarship recipient.

Oom, from Grand Rapids, is an Alumni Distinguished Scholarship recipient and also received an honorable mention for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in 2015.

Pomaville, from Spring, Texas, is a member of the History Scholars Program, open to history majors with a high grade-point average. He also received a dean’s assistantship, provided to exceptional College of Social Science students to conduct advanced mentored research projects.

Straley, from Flushing, is a writing consultant at the MSU Writing Center and a research assistant under Assistant Professor Natalie Phillips in the Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Laboratory.

MSU has produced 16 Marshall Scholars, one Mitchell Scholar and 16 Rhodes Scholars.

The Marshall Commission provides support to approximately 40 of the most outstanding undergraduates in the country to study at any university in the United Kingdom.

The U.S.-Ireland Alliance established the George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program, which allows up to 12 future American leaders to pursue a year of graduate study in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The Rhodes Trust, the oldest of the major international competitive award foundations, provides 32 of the most outstanding undergraduates in the country an opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in England.

By: Stephanie Cepak