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Georgia College graduate wins coveted Marshall Scholarship

Milledgeville, Dec. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
Think Independently. Lead Creatively.
For Immediate Release:
DATE: Monday, Dec. 3, 2018
CONTACT: Cindy O’Donnell
Media Relations Specialist
University Communications

Georgia College graduate wins coveted Marshall Scholarship

A Georgia College alumnus recently won the prestigious Marshall Scholarship—a nationally-competitive award that includes past winners who went on to earn Pulitzer and Nobel prizes, take seats as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices and receive MacArthur Genius Grants.

Kevin Morris of Savannah, a 2017 graduate, now joins those ranks—the first Georgia College student or alum to achieve this award.

As an undergraduate, he excelled academically, won a Fulbright Scholarship to Macedonia and earned a dual degree in economics and history. Morris currently works as a project assistant, doing Macedonian and Serbian programming for the Central and Eastern European Team at the National Democratic Institute in Washington, D.C.

“I have a community of people and organizations at Georgia College which made this moment possible,” Morris said. “My involvement in the Honors Program played a huge role in providing me with the community of brilliant and perspicacious people who inspired me to work harder, dream bigger and push myself to produce my best work.”

Up to 40 Marshall Scholarships are awarded annually from about 1,000 university-endorsed applications. The competition identifies young Americans of high-ability—possible future leaders—and finances their study for a degree in the United Kingdom. The goal is to foster relations between both countries, as U.S. recipients act as ambassadors.

Morris hopes to use his two-year award to pursue a master’s degree at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies at University College London (UCL). He’d like to enhance his research skills there and learn more about regional histories.

“I am eager to begin my own research at UCL, with the help of its excellent resources,” Morris said. “I want to contribute to our understanding of how economic policy can mitigate the obstacles faced by people and groups with marginalized identities and establish more cooperative, inclusive relationships between different communities.”

“I am incredibly excited for this next chapter in my life,” he said.

Morris worked months on his Marshall application, while traveling back to the U.S. from his Fulbright year in Macedonia, moving to Washington D.C. and beginning a new job. He interviewed with Georgia College faculty and staff for a university endorsement. When he became a regional finalist, Morris also interviewed at the British Consul General’s regional office in Atlanta. Knowing German—a language he studied intensively at Georgia College—was a key factor. The Marshall Scholarship Committee questioned him at length about his command of German, a regionally-important language in Europe and the Balkans.

“My background in German played a huge role in the success of my application,” Morris said. “A command of European and Asian languages seems to be a common feature among Marshall Scholars, and I am indebted to the German faculty at Georgia College for preparing me for this opportunity.”

Morris called the interview with the Marshall Scholarship Committee “one of the most intense experiences” of his life.

He drew upon leadership skills learned in college. Morris was a member of the Georgia College Council of Student Ambassadors. He facilitated public forums with the American Democracy Project. He also acted in plays, which he said gave him extensive practice in “thinking on his feet.”

“Kevin excelled as a leader through his work with 4-H and the Georgia Education Mentorship program,” said Anna Whiteside, assistant director of the Honors Program and coordinator of the university’s National Scholarships Office.

“As a Marshall Scholar,” she said, “Kevin will learn about ways he can work with the United Kingdom to facilitate U.S./U.K. relations, as they pertain to Central and Eastern European affairs.”

Please see attached photos and Front Page for more information.

For additional information and scheduling interviews, please call: 478-445-8668 / 478-508-2599. Or email: cindy.odonnell@gcsu.edu.        


Cindy O'Donnell
Georgia College and State University