Andrew March will now go to oxford University for two years of graduate study. His studies have taken him to Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Bosnia and Palestine. But soon Andrew March will find academic enrichment in a new country -- England. The College senior is one of a select group of 40 American undergraduates to receive the Marshall scholarship this year -- sending him to Oxford University for two years of graduate study. This is the first time a Penn student has won the prestigious award in 10 years. March, a triple major in political science, intellectual history and Asian and Middle Eastern studies, will focus on either political philosophy or intellectual history while at Oxford. "I'm very, very happy," March said of his award, joking that now he "won't have to worry about the second-semester job search." The 23-year-old Maine native has spent much of his Penn career studying ethnic conflict and has spent time in numerous countries conducting independent research. He is fluent in Serbo-Croatian, Czech and Slovak and proficient in Russian, Albanian, Spanish and Arabic. He will travel to England with his Mongolian-born wife and 17-month-old son. March attributes his success to the University Scholars Program, which aims to promote undergraduate research by providing a system of advising and funds for a wide array of research on and off campus. "It is the most unique thing that I've found here at Penn," March said. "Literally, [the program is] the sole thing that has allowed me to do all [my research]." In addition to garnering three research grants through the University Scholars Program, he has also been awarded the Nassau Undergraduate Research Grant and the College Undergraduate Research Grant. The Marshall scholarship is considered to be just a step below the highly competitive Rhodes scholarship, making it one of the most prestigious awards available to undergraduates. "This is really one of the most difficult scholarships to get," said Clare Cowen, the Marshall scholarship coordinator at Penn. "He's a very, very special individual." The Marshall scholarships, named in honor of former U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, were established in 1953 by the British government to express gratitude to the United States for the European Recovery Program, which Marshall instituted in 1947. About 800 students nationwide apply for one of the 40 scholarships awarded each year. Students applying for the award must have a strong transcript and GPA and submit a 1000-word personal statement, a 500-word proposal for their studies in the United Kingdom, four references from professors and a letter of recommendation from their dean. The award covers overseas transportation, tuition and fees for two to three years of study at any university in the United Kingdom and a living allowance for the recipient. Recipients must show outstanding achievement in academics, leadership potential, social commitment and communication skills. According to Cowen, March's qualifications speak for themselves. Beyond his extensive research experience, March is a Dean's Scholar, a University Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa and a Golden Key Honor Society Selectee.Comments powered by Disqus
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