Skip navigation links

Dec. 13, 2021

MSU student earns Marshall Scholarship

Andrew McDonald, an Honors College senior majoring in computer science in the College of Engineering, and advanced mathematics, and statistics in the College of Natural Science, has been named a Marshall Scholar.

McDonald is the 19th Marshall Scholar from Michigan State University.

This year 41 Marshall Scholars were selected from 1,000 applicants from 33 institutions. Nearly a third of the participating institutions are from state or public universities. The Marshall Commission provides support for up to 50 of the most outstanding undergraduates in the country to study at any university in the United Kingdom. Marshall Scholarships pay tuition and fees, personal travel, book allowances and a living stipend for up to three years of study.

McDonald was awarded the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship and a Professorial Assistantship from the Honors College. As a member of the D-CYPHER Lab, he developed machine learning-based algorithms to control and coordinate multi-robot systems used in environmental sensing applications, receiving the Goldwater Scholarship in 2021 in recognition of his contributions. McDonald currently serves as a research assistant to Pang-Ning in the DMiner Research Lab and is a lead mentor for computer science outreach programs including Spartan Girls Who Code and Technovation.

“It is an incredible honor to be named a Marshall Scholar, and an incredible privilege to share this honor with the team of mentors, friends and family standing behind me. I look forward to pursuing a joint MRes + PhD in AI for the Study of Environmental Risks at the University of Cambridge, where I will advance research at the intersection of machine learning and climate science to inform present and future climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives. I'd like to thank my research mentors, Dr. Pang-Ning Tan and Dr. Vaibhav Srivastava; my outreach mentors, Laura Dillon and Teresa Isela Vandersloot; my teaching mentor Sebnem Onsay; my academic mentors Abdol Esfahanian, Jiayu Zhou, Jeanette McGuire and Jake Kasper; and the many others who have played a role in my educational journey here at Michigan State University. Most importantly, I'd like to thank my parents, Maura and Mike McDonald, and my sister, Erin McDonald, for their unconditional love and support,” said McDonald.

Andrew is from Hudson, Ohio and graduated from Hudson High School.

“Andrew is a truly deserving recipient of the prestigious award. He is a remarkable young scholar who has one of the sharpest minds I’ve met. The award is testament to his exceptional academic record and his ability to balance the rigorous academic demand with service to his community. The growth I’ve seen in him as a young researcher over the past year has convinced me that he has the technical ability, work ethics and dedication to become a prominent future leader in his field,” said Pang-Ning.

McDonald plans to pursue a joint MRes + PhD in AI for the Study of Environmental Risks at the University of Cambridge .

“Andrew McDonald is a wonderful representative of the academic excellence nurtured at Michigan State,” said President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “I know all Spartans join me with great pride in congratulating him as the university’s 19th Marshall Scholar.”

“The breadth and depth of Andrew McDonald’s scholarly achievements as an undergraduate at Michigan State University affirm how deserving he is of this prestigious award and opportunity,” said MSU Provost Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “We wish Andrew all the best in his next academic pursuit at the University of Cambridge.”

“Andrew demonstrates a sustained and deep commitment to scholarship and leadership, and is passionate about making a difference in the challenge to solve climate change. He is destined to advance the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence. I join his mentors and family in congratulating him for this outstanding achievement,” said Christopher P. Long, dean of the Honors College, and College of Arts and Letters.

The National and International Fellowships and Scholarships Office, administered by the Honors College, is dedicated to supporting undergraduate and graduate students pursuing major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes.

Media Contacts