The U-M Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships have nominated three recent alumni and one current senior for the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, two of the world’s most prestigious graduate fellowships.
“Each of our nominees excels in academic achievement — often in multiple fields — demonstrated leadership, and commitment to improving the lives of others,” says Henry Dyson, director of the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships.
Each year, U-M selects its Rhodes and Marshall nominees from a pool of more than two dozen applicants from across the university.
The Rhodes Scholarship is awarded to 32 students from across the United States to pursue graduate studies at the University of Oxford. They will join approximately 60 Rhodes Scholars selected from other countries around the world.
Intended to strengthen ties between American and United Kingdom scholars, the Marshall Scholarship provides funds for awardees to pursue graduate work at any university in the United Kingdom.
This year’s nominees include three LSA alumni and a senior from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Jonathan Williams, nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in cellular and molecular biology. He’s currently serving as a laboratory technician in LSA’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. In his spare time, he is a snare drummer in historical re-enactments of the Civil and Revolutionary wars, as well as an active volunteer and Bible study leader with the New Life Church in Ann Arbor.
“I am thrilled and honored to represent the University of Michigan in the scholarship competition,” says Williams. “I thank God, my family, and mentors, because their investment in my education and life has been instrumental in bringing me to this point.”
Yiran Liu graduated with a Bachelor Science degree, with a major in cellular and molecular biology and a minor in law, justice, and social change. She is nominated for the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships. She is a research technician and lab manager at Columbia University Medical Center, and was active during her time at U-M as a researcher at the Comprehensive Care Center and as a peer educator with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center, as well as a volunteer with Student Life and other organizations.
“These applications provoke a lot of reflection, and throughout this process, I have been overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunities I’ve had and for the people who have supported me and shaped me. It is such an honor to be nominated, but the nomination is not just for me, it is for all the communities, values, and causes I hope to represent. It means that the committee sees and believes in my vision of a successor science, one that propels social change by including and serving all people. That, I think, instills in me a tremendous amount of hope and courage,” says Liu.
Lauren Shepard graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. During her undergraduate career, she was also a research assistant to Professor Margo Schlanger with the Civil Rights Legislation Clearinghouse at the Law School. She interned with the American Civil Liberties Union, the sexual assault team at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, and at a law firm in Ireland.
Shepard also served as an associate justice of the Central Student Judiciary and was on the advisory board for the Office of Student Conflict Resolution. She has been nominated for the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships.
Ford School senior Nadine Jawad, who is majoring in public policy with a concentration in conflict and health, has been nominated for the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships. She’s the co-founder of Books for a Benefit, a student organization aimed at promoting literacy in low-income communities. She’s also the student body vice president, a research assistant in the Carey Lab at Michigan Medicine, and a tutor in the Science Learning Center.
“I remember learning about the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships when I was 17 years old,” says Jawad. “I never would have thought I would be one of the people our institution chose to nominate. Whether I win or not, it is such a humbling feeling to know there is a group of people at U-M who believe in me so much. This nomination is also not just for me, but for the family that raised me to be who I am today. I hope to make my family and community proud in this journey.”