Five Texas A&M students have been nominated for the 2020 Churchill, Marshall, Mitchell, and Rhodes Scholarships, which are among the most prestigious and highly-coveted academic scholarships available to students in the United States.
The Churchill Scholarship provides funding to 15 American students for a year of Master’s study in science, mathematics, and engineering at the University of Cambridge, based at Churchill College. The Marshall Scholarship is awarded to 40 students and is tenable for two years of graduate study at any university in the United Kingdom. Up to 12 applicants are selected for the Mitchell Scholarship, which provides full funding for a year of post-baccalaureate study in Ireland. The well-known Rhodes Scholarship is given to 32 students and is tenable for two to three years of graduate study at Oxford University. Among the most competitive scholarship competitions in the world, only about 4% of the nationwide pool of over 1,000 university-nominated applicants receive these awards.
LAUNCH: National Fellowships congratulates the Texas A&M nominees of these prestigious competitions and recognizes their hard work and dedication to the process of intensive self-reflection required in these applications.
Rachel Porter ’20: Marshall/Rhodes
Rachel Porter is a molecular and cellular biology major from Kempner, Texas, with minors in both chemistry and mathematics. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a career in biological research. Rachel is a member of Sigma Xi, University Honors, Biology Honors, the University Scholars Program, and the Beckman Scholars Program for undergraduate research. Rachel was awarded the Gathright Dean’s Excellence Award in conjunction with Phi Kappa Phi in both 2018 and 2019, and has been nominated as a campus nominee for the Goldwater, Marshall, Rhodes, and Fulbright fellowships. Rachel has pursued her interest in research since her freshman year at Texas A&M University, initially working in the Lockless Lab to study potassium channels in Escherichia coli. Rachel is currently involved in research in the Bell-Pedersen Lab, where she works in Neurospora crassa studying circadian clock control of ribosomal protein composition. As an Undergraduate Research Scholar, Rachel published a thesis based on this project, having presented her research at meetings including the Undergraduate Research Scholars Symposium, the 30th Fungal Genetic Conference, and the Beckman Symposium. Outside of the lab, Rachel coordinates social media for TAMU Urban Farm United and works as a Supplementary Instructor for a molecular and cell biology course. In her free time, Rachel enjoys long distance running and baking.
Ryan Randle ’20: Marshall/Mitchell/Rhodes
Ryan Randle is a History and English double major and Classical Studies minor from San Antonio, Texas. Ryan’s research focuses on the reception and adaptational practices of classical texts in the Medieval period. Through her research, she aims to investigate the relationship between chivalric codes and unconventional literary heroes across time. Ryan’s technical skills include proficiency in Old English, Latin, Middle English/Scots, and Old Norse and her current research project looks at the relationship between mortals and the gods in 14th through 16th century English adaptations of the Dido-Aeneas myth. Along with participating in departmental, collegiate, and university honors programs, she is also the President of the Honors Housing Community, an Undergraduate Research Scholar, a University Scholar, and a member of the Academy of Undergraduate Researchers Across Texas. She is the recipient of the Dean’s Excellence Award for the College of Liberal Arts, the Outstanding Thesis Award for the category of Liberal Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Melbern G. Glasscock 1st Place Award for her presentation, “The Gospel of Motherhood,” which concerned depictions of violence against women by female, Medieval authors. She enjoys weightlifting, hiking, and cooking with friends or family in her free time.
Tara McCoy ’20: Marshall
Tara McCoy is a public health major and anthropology minor from Rockwall, TX. Tara ultimately intends on becoming a family practice physician and eventually getting involved with project and program development and research in the field of global health. Throughout her undergraduate career, Tara has had a number of incredible opportunities to use her public health and anthropology background in research and work. The summer after her freshman year Tara worked on an HIV/AIDS project in Houston and the following year in the spring semester was a volunteer student research assistant with the Program on Disability Research and Community Based Care. Currently, Tara is a team member on a project focusing on the boom and bust economics of Ebola at the Bush School of Government and Public Service. Beyond getting involved with research, Tara has been able to apply her interest in sexual health to her roles as both a peer sexual health educator at Texas A&M and an intern with the Indian Health Service’s National HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C program. In spring 2017, Tara was awarded the Boren scholarship, a National Security Education Program scholarship which funds the study of critical languages abroad. This scholarship allowed her to study Indonesian in Indonesia for 10 months. During that time, Tara not only had the opportunity to become advanced in Indonesian, but also interact with, and experience, different approaches and perspectives on health. Outside of academics, Tara enjoys running, hiking, and reading any book that is not nonfiction. With the Marshall scholarship, Tara hopes to pursue an MSC in Global Health Policy and Medical Anthropology to better understand and be able to investigate the larger economic, political, and social mechanisms which influence health at the local level and contribute to health disparities.
Ashley Holt ’19: Churchill
Ashely Holt is a biomedical engineering major from Kingwood, TX. Ashley decided to be a part of the Aggie family after visiting the campus during my senior year of high school. While at Texas A&M, she have been involved in many extracurricular activities including the Discover, Explore, and Enjoy Physics program, Engineering World Health, University Scholars, Engineering Honors, and the Biomedical Engineering Ambassadors. Ashley has also worked extensively in research, studying bacteriophages, the viruses that infect bacteria, and how they break open bacterial cells. As a result of her academic achievements and research, she has been recognized as a Beckman Scholar, Goldwater Scholar, and Astronaut Scholar. After graduation, she plans to pursue a M.D./Ph.D. dual degree and continue a career in research discovering new antimicrobial treatments while also treating patients with dangerous infectious diseases.
Ryan Sullivan ’20: Marshall/Mitchell/Rhodes
Ryan Linck Sullivan is an international studies major focusing on International Politics, Diplomacy, and History, with a minor in Russian, from San Antonio, Texas. During his time at Texas A&M, Ryan has been selected for honor societies such as The National Slavic Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Eta Sigma, participated in three University Honors Programs, and has been a member of the Dean’s List. As a class representative, Ryan upholds Aggie traditions and fundraises for Class Councils’ programs. He has held positions of leadership in Class Councils, including Assistant Executive Director, Treasurer, and Pull Out Day Logistics Director, and earned the 2017-2018 Rising Star Award. As a Fish Camp counselor and a member of the Fish Council Director’s Team, Ryan welcomed and mentored incoming freshmen. He also volunteers for Aggie Rings for Veterans, Habitat for Humanity, and the Food Bank. Ryan also spends his summers working as an FBI Honors Intern and a College of Liberal Arts Teaching Assistant.
To read more about how LAUNCH: National Fellowships helps prepare outstanding students to compete for nationally-competitive awards with the support of the Association of Former Students, please visit http://natlfellows.tamu.edu.