By: Emily Jodway
History major Megan Smejkal is one of 10 MSU students nominated for the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. Megan is majoring in History, Economics and Political Science in the College of Social Science. She is a graduate of Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois.
Her political/research interests include affordable health care, diversity, equity and inclusion, LGBTQ+ rights, democratic backsliding, gun reform, minimum wage and climate change. Before she graduates, she’d like to complete two more research projects with one on the economic effects of ending for-profit healthcare and the other on the casuses of democratic backsliding in the U.S. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and study constitutional law. She hopes to one day work in public policy, specifically in a position that allocates funding.
Megan is among the five College of Social Science students among the nominees. The Marshall scholarship supports students attending graduate school in the United Kingdom. It is considered one of the most prestigious fellowships in the world, and along with the Fulbright Scholarship, the only other broadly available scholarship for Americans seeking to continue their studies in the UK.
MSU has produced 19 Marshall Scholars in the fellowship’s history. This year the number of nominees crossed into the double-digits, compared to last year’s six students (one from the College of Social Science) and one alum. Social Scientists represent half of this year’s nods, which spread across four disciplines within the College. In addition, all are members of the Honors College.
The Distinguished Student Awards Office (formerly National/International Fellowships and Scholarships Office), administered by the Honors College, sponsored the nominations. This office helps undergraduate and graduate students pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes.
The results of this competition will be determined in the coming months. The full list of MSU nominees can be read below. Click here to view the original MSU press release.
- Caroline Downes, majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Lyman Briggs College; and Anthropology in the College of Social Science (Berkley High School in Berkley, Michigan).
- Brennan Haugen, majoring in Human Biology in the College of Natural Science; and Psychology in the College of Social Science (Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center, and Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, Michigan).
- Maren Nicolaysen, majoring in International Relations in James Madison College; and Economics in the College of Social Science (Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, Wyoming).
- Megan Smejkal, majoring in Political Science, Economics, and History in the College of Social Science (Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois).
- Dorothy Zhao, majoring in Neuroscience, and Human Biology in the College of Natural Science; and Psychology in the College of Social Science (Okemos High School in Okemos, Michigan).
- Alissa Hakim, majoring in Arts and Humanities in the Residential College of the Arts and Humanities; and Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy in James Madison College (Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights, Michigan).
- Kyleen Hall, majoring in Microbiology in the College of Natural Science (Lincoln Way West High School in New Lenox, Illinois).
- Ashley Harlock, majoring in Neuroscience, and Human Biology in Lyman Briggs College (Churchill High School in Livonia, Michigan).
- Tanvi Karkare, majoring in Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience in Lyman Briggs College (Canton High School in Canton, Michigan).
- Isaac Smith, majoring in Physics, and Advanced Mathematics in the College of Natural Science (West Bloomfield High School in West Bloomfield, Michigan).
MSU’s alumni nominees for the Marshall Scholarship were also members of the Honors College. They are:
Caitlin (CJ) Sivak, a 2023 graduate who majored in Urban and Regional Planning in the College of Social Science; and Linguistics in the College of Arts and Letters (Clarkston High School in Clarkston, Michigan).
Zahra Ahmad, a 2022 graduate who majored in Comparative Cultures and Politics in James Madison College (Troy High School in Troy, Michigan).