Auburn University announces nominees for prestigious Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell scholarships

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University has announced its student nominees for three of the nation’s top postgraduate honors: the Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell scholarships.

“These students evoke the core values of Auburn University,” said Melissa Baumann, assistant provost for undergraduate studies and director of the Honors College. “They have succeeded through hard work in their courses and extracurricular activities and they are men and women of character. We are pleased to nominate them for these prestigious scholarships.”

Rhodes Scholarship nominees

Five seniors and one recent graduate will compete for a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, which gives 32 of the most outstanding young scholars in the country an opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. The scholarship, one of the oldest in the world, aims to nurture public-spirited leaders for the world’s future as it promotes international understanding and peace.

  • Patrick Donnan of Auburn, Ala., is a double major in physics and music (bassoon) with a minor in mathematics, an editor for the Auburn University Journal of Undergraduate Studies and a Goldwater Scholar. His major professor is Francis Robicheaux in physics.
  • Hunter Hayes of Jacksonville, Fla., is a triple major in music (piano), finance and accounting, a classically trained pianist and a member of the track and field team. His major professor is Jeremy Samolesky in music.
  • Spencer Kerns of Mobile, Ala., is a double major in chemistry and Spanish and a 2012 U.S. Swimming Olympics Trials finalist. His major professor is Anne Gorden in chemistry.
  • Ashton Richardson of New Orleans, La., is a 2012 Auburn graduate in animal sciences, a former football linebacker, Bobby Bowden Award Winner and currently a first-year student in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. His major professor at Auburn was Dale Coleman in animal sciences.
  • Jennifer Waxman of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, is a political science major with a minor in Spanish and a First Team Academic All-American member of the equestrian team. Her major professor is Jill Crystal in political science.
  • Alyssa White of Auburn, Ala., is a double major in anthropology and Spanish with a minor in East Asian Studies (Japanese), an editor for the Auburn University Journal of Undergraduate Studies and a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Her major professor is Kristina Schuler of anthropology.

Marshall Scholarship nominees

Auburn’s nominees for the Marshall Scholarship, an equally respected honor, are Patrick Donnan and Alyssa White again and Mary-Catherine Anderson of Huntsville, Ala., a cellular, molecular and microbial biology major, a folk music singer and songwriter and an album co-producer. Her major professor is Mike Squillacote in chemistry.

The scholarship, named for General George C. Marshall, former Army Chief of Staff and Secretary of State, provides 40 of the most outstanding undergraduates in the country an opportunity to study at any university in the United Kingdom.

Mitchell Scholarship nominee

The university has endorsed Lauren Little of Decatur, Ala., for the Mitchell Scholarship. She is a 2013 graduate in human development and family studies and is pursuing an MBA in Auburn’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. She is a past president of Auburn’s Committee of 19 that seeks solutions to world hunger. Her major professor is Kate Thornton in hunger studies.

This scholarship gives 12 students nationwide the opportunity to study in Ireland and is named in honor of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell’s contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process; it is sponsored by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance.

“Our students must be endorsed by the university’s national prestigious scholarships committee to receive a nomination,” said Paul Harris, director of national prestigious scholarships, who worked with the students, along with their faculty mentors, to help prepare them for the application process. “As part of their applications, they were required to submit a personal essay and letters of recommendation which highlighted their scholarly potential and their character and suitability for the award.”

(Written by Charles Martin.)

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