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Physics Major Nominated for Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships

Thursday, October 19, 2017

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has endorsed applications from five students and recent graduates applying for prestigious fellowships for study in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Collin Clay, Eilish Gibson, Tomas Green, Kierstin McMichael and Susan McClannahan are applying for the Marshall Scholarship; Green is applying for the Mitchell Scholarship; Gibson, Green and McMichael are applying for the Rhodes Scholarship.

Marshall Scholarships provide funding for graduate study at any university in the United Kingdom; the Mitchell Scholarship provides funding for one year of study in Ireland; while the Rhodes Scholarship provides expenses for one to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

Regional panels review applications for both the Rhodes and Marshall scholarship programs. Finalists for the Rhodes and Marshall are invited to participate in interviews in November. The Mitchell Scholarship has a first-round video interview before finalist interviews in November.

The Office of Fellowships, a unit of Undergraduate Studies, coordinates KU's endorsement process and supports candidates through the application process. Students interested in applying for these awards in future years are encouraged to contact the office by email at fellowships@ku.edu.

KU students have previously won nine Marshall and 27 Rhodes scholarships; Shegufta Huma won the Rhodes Scholarship last year.

Collin Clay from Edmond, Oklahoma, is the son of Tom and Gina Clay of Edmond and a graduate of Edmond Memorial High School. Clay is a chemistry major and has considerable research experience, including in the KU labs of Professor Robert Ward (molecular biosciences), Professor Carey Johnson (chemistry), and Chancellors Club Teaching Professor Paul Hanson (chemistry). Clay’s work with Hanson has been as one of KU’s Beckman Scholars. Clay spent the summer of summer 2015 in Ireland doing research in the lab of Professor Dermot Diamond. Clay is a member of the University Honors Program, is the expansion chair for the KU Chem Club and the communications director for the ACLU of KU.

Eilish Gibson of Perry, is the daughter of John and Kimberly Gibson and a graduate of Bishop Seabury Academy. Gibson is double-majoring in physics and classical antiquities. Gibson has been involved in physics research with professors Phil Baringer and Alice Bean, Department of Physics & Astronomy, since she was in junior high school. Her current research is related to the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. Gibson has been able to travel to CERN and contributed to internal publications there; she plans to pursue a career in particle physics research. Gibson was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior, is a member of the University Honors Program and earlier this year won both the Goldwater Scholarship and the Astronaut Scholarship.

Tomas Green of Lynnwood, Washington, graduated from Meadowdale High School. He is the son of Guy and Aina Green. Green is majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in public policy. Green has been involved with several organizations at KU, including the KU Student Senate, the Student Environmental Advisory Board and the Dole Institute of Politics. Off-campus he has worked with the Willow Domestic Violence Center and the Citizens Climate Lobby. He was selected as a KU Man of Merit by the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity and has been a member of the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program. A member of the University Honors Program, Green was selected as a Udall Scholar in 2017.

Susan McClannahan, currently of Washington, D.C., is the daughter of John and Cindy McClannahan and a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School. McClannahan graduated from KU in May 2015 with a double major in global & international studies and East Asian languages & cultures, with an emphasis in Korean. In addition, she completed the University Honors Program, Departmental Honors in Global and International Studies, the Research Experience Program Certification, the Service Learning Program Certification and the Global Awareness Program Certification with Distinction. McClannahan was one of 15 Global Scholars selected for the 2011-2012 cohort and twice won KU Foreign Languages and Area Studies Scholarships (FLAS), which helped fund her extensive study abroad in South Korea. Throughout college, McClannahan served as an advocate at the Willow Domestic Violence Center and has since worked in the nonprofit sector to prevent domestic violence and discrimination.

Kierstin McMichael, a native of Wichita currently living in Lawrence, is the daughter of Lucretia Raleigh, Lewisville, Texas. McMichael graduated from KU in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in sociology. A McNair Scholar and member of the Multicultural Scholars Program, McMichael was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. As an undergraduate, McMichael held positions with many student support offices, including as a social justice peer educator, a peer adviser with the Undergraduate Advising Center, an orientation assistant and a resident assistant. She also worked as a collections specialist for the Project on the History of Black Writing. Her recognitions include the Alexis F. Dillard Student Involvement University Award, the Dannah J. Hartley Outstanding Peer Advisor Award, the Department of English Outstanding Senior Award and the Dr. Fred Rodriguez Award for Academic Achievement. For the past year, she has worked at KU in the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity & Equity.


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