Montana State University

MSU students finish strong year of major scholarship wins

May 10, 2017 -- From MSU News Service

Nineteen MSU students and graduates were honored recently as winners and finalists of major national scholarships and fellowships. The honored students won Fulbright, Gates Cambridge, Goldwater, Rhodes, Schwarzman and Udall scholarships, among others. Many of the scholars are pictured here with MSU President Waded Cruzado during a reception held in the Leigh Lounge on campus on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. MSU photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN — Nineteen Montana State University students and graduates were honored at a reception held last week for winners and finalists of major national scholarships and fellowships. Included in the group were Gates Cambridge, Fulbright, Goldwater, National Science Foundation, Rhodes, Schwarzman and Udall scholars.

“We are so proud of all of Montana State University’s major scholarship recipients and finalists,” said MSU President Waded Cruzado. “Competing in a national and, in some cases, international arena, their accomplishments have brought great visibility and recognition to our university. We know the futures of all of these students are extraordinarily bright.”

Among other scholarships announced, the university learned in November that Josh Carter was one of 32 scholars from throughout the country who was named a Rhodes Scholar. He is the 11th MSU student to receive a Rhodes Scholarship, considered the oldest and one of the most prestigious international academic awards. Carter said he plans to use the scholarship to earn a master’s in clinical neuroscience – a new field for him – to help him better understand how to develop smart prosthetics. Carter hopes to eventually earn an M.D. and a Ph.D. with a career developing smart prosthetics and finding a way to distribute them to those who might not be able to afford them.

In addition, last fall Riley Shearer was one of 129 scholars selected from an applicant pool of 2,747 candidates from 30 countries and 75 universities who will form the second class of Schwarzman Scholars, a highly competitive new scholarship developed by philanthropist Stephen A. Schwarzman. Shearer is the first MSU student to receive a Schwarzman Scholarship, which is closely modeled on the Rhodes Scholar program. Shearer will use the scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in public policy at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

In February, MSU student Montana Wilson won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship that will fund graduate work at the University of Cambridge in England. Wilson, who is an enrolled Gros Ventre of the Fort Belknap Indian Community and a member of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, is the first Native American Gates Cambridge Scholar in the history of the scholarship program, according to the Gates Cambridge Trust. Wilson is one of 36 Americans and 54 scholars from other parts of the world to receive the prestigious scholarship funded by the Gates Foundation. He plans to use the scholarship to earn a master’s degree in development studies at Cambridge.

In April, MSU’s Magdalena Russell was selected as a recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship. The Goldwater is the nation's premier scholarship for undergraduates studying math, natural sciences and engineering, and it provides each student up to $7,500 a year for tuition, fees, books, and room and board. MSU has now produced 68 Goldwater Scholars, keeping the university one of the nation's top institutions for numbers of recipients. 

Also in April, Mathew Bain won a prestigious Udall Scholarship from the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. Bain – whose passion for the environment has driven him to participate in and lead environmental initiatives at the university and in the community – was selected as a Udall Scholar in the environmental policy category. 

“The success of our students in winning prestigious scholarships is indicative of the quality of our academic programs, the level of motivation of our students and the dedicated mentorship and inspirational teaching of our faculty,” said Ilse-Mari Lee, dean of the MSU Honors College.

This year’s major scholarship winners from MSU are listed below by scholarship, name, major and hometown:

Fulbright Scholar (English Teaching Assistant Grant, South Korea), Sarah Coldiron, history teaching and French teaching, Boise, Idaho

Fulbright Scholar (Fulbright Research Grant, Australia), Maureen Kessler, ecology and environmental science, Los Lunas, New Mexico

Gates Cambridge Scholar, Montana Wilson, political science and economics, Poplar

Goldwater Scholar, Magdalena Russell, cell biology and neuroscience, Bozeman

National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship (East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes), Jacob Gardner, Earth sciences, Nipomo, California

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Carol Baumbauer, electrical engineering and French, Bozeman

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Andrew Bender, mechanical engineering, Moscow, Idaho

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Jayme Feyhl-Buska, life sciences, Lebanon, New Hampshire

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Casey Kennedy, physical chemistry, Billings

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Isaac Miller, organismal biology, East Helena

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Michiel Pillet, life sciences, Belgium

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Anna Scott, chemistry, Los Alamos, New Mexico

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Matthew Weingart, Earth sciences, Pablo

Rhodes Scholar, Josh Carter, mechanical engineering and microbiology, Watertown, South Dakota

Schwarzman Scholar, Riley Shearer, economics, chemical engineering and biochemistry, Lake Oswego, Oregon

Udall Scholar, Mathew Bain, environmental science – soil and water, Missoula


This year’s major scholarship finalists from MSU are listed below by scholarship, name, major and hometown:

Marshall Scholarship finalist, Aaron Benson, mechanical engineering, Rapid City, South Dakota

Rhodes Scholarship finalist, Riley Shearer, economics, chemical engineering and biochemistry, Lake Oswego, Oregon

Rhodes Scholarship finalist, Cassia Wagner, biochemistry, Whitefish

Truman Scholarship finalist, Mathew Bain, environmental science – soil and water, Missoula

Udall Scholarship honorable mention, Chris O Donnell, mechanical engineering, Spokane, Washington

Contact: Ilse-Mari Lee, dean, MSU Honors College, (406) 994-4689 or ilselee@montana.edu