Two Students Named Finalists for Nation's Top Scholarship Awards
Moutos competing for Rhodes Scholarship; Shoemake for MarshallTuesday, November 06, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Two University of Arkansas students have been selected as finalists for the top two scholarships awarded to U.S. citizens — the Rhodes and the Marshall Scholarships.
Christopher Moutos, an Honors College senior majoring in chemistry in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a Rhodes Scholarship finalist. He is from Little Rock and is the son of Dean and Toni Moutos and the late Doris Moutos. He will interview for the scholarship in St. Louis on Nov.17.
Clint Shoemake, an Honors College senior majoring in anthropology and political science, also in Fulbright College, has been named a Marshall Scholarship finalist. He is from Bartlesville, Okla., and is the son of Cheryl Shoemake and the late Tom Shoemake. He will interview for the scholarship on Nov. 8 in Houston.
More than 1,500 top students applied for the 32 Rhodes Scholarships and 40 Marshall Scholarships that will be awarded this year.
“These competitions are fierce,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “Only a very select few are chosen to interview. Chris Moutos and Clint Shoemake are among the most capable students in this country. That they have been selected as finalists speaks volumes about their dedication and preparation as well as the level of support they have enjoyed from our faculty. The University of Arkansas is very proud of their accomplishments, and wishes them well in this next step of the process.”
The Rhodes Scholarship, the oldest international fellowship, was initiated after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902. The scholarship is intended to bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford. The first American Scholars were elected in 1904, and Neil Carothers of the University of Arkansas was a Rhodes Scholar that first year. Rhodes Scholars are elected for two years of study at the University of Oxford with the possibility of renewal for a third year.
The Marshall Scholarship is also considered one of the most prestigious postgraduate scholarships available to an American. It allows recipients one to three years of graduate level study at any university in the United Kingdom. The U of A’s first Marshall Scholar was John Edie, selected in 1960. The scholarships recognize the work of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall and are an expression of the U.K.’s gratitude for economic assistance received through the Marshall Plan after World War II. Marshall Scholarship winners are selected for their potential to excel as scholars, leaders and contributors to improved understanding between the U.S. and the U.K.
“I am very pleased for both Chris Moutos and for Clint Shoemake,” said Robin Roberts, dean of the Fulbright College. “They are dedicated, engaged students, who will clearly make a difference at the state and national level. I also want to congratulate their departments — chemistry, anthropology and political science — for providing the kind of support it takes for students to be competitive at the national level.”
Chris Moutos is currently conducting research on antimicrobial peptides related to treatment of fungal infections. Moutos is working with U of A professor David McNabb and will present his findings at the 2013 Biophysical Society Meeting. Additionally, Moutos has research experience through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a summer internship with Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He volunteers at Hope Cancer Resources in Springdale and serves as a conversation partner through Spring International Language Center.
Moutos has received a number of awards as an undergraduate, including the Governor’s Scholarship, the Honors College Fellowship, the Paul and Beth Gaylor Scholarship and the Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship. He is a co-founder and member of the Northwest Arkansas Speed Association, a local running group for individuals at all running levels. Moutos has qualified for the Boston Marathon and plans to compete in April next year.
Moutos proposes to study public policy at Oxford University, focusing on public health concerns and specifically examining the interplay between obesity, physical activity and policy at the community level. After returning to the U.S., he plans to attend medical school. As a practicing physician and community leader he hopes to develop new and effective initiatives to combat obesity in Arkansas through both medical treatment and outreach.
Clint Shoemake is interested in issues connected with forced migration, post-conflict restoration and human rights, particularly in Africa. He is currently collecting oral histories of Rwandan students on the U of A campus who survived their country’s genocide. In summer 2012, Shoemake worked as a research fellow in Ghana, exploring the leadership of women who own and operate their own businesses. He has also studied abroad in Tanzania, worked in India with the university’s Tibetans in Exile Today Project, and served as the foreign affairs intern for U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. Currently, he is a section editor for the 2013 edition of Imponderabilia, the international student anthropology journal.
Shoemake also volunteers at Legal Aid of Arkansas, Seven Hills Homeless Center and the Ozark Literacy Council, affording him opportunities to ensure poverty does not inhibit justice, homeless veterans have clothes to wear, and immigrants acquire requisite language skills. He is a 2012 Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellow and is preparing for a career as a Foreign Service Officer in Africa with the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs.
In addition to the nationally competitive Pickering Fellowship, Shoemake has earned a variety of other awards including the Ellen and Gary Cleveland Scholarship, the William Jennings Bryan Scholarship, the Minna Rosenbaum Divers Memorial Scholarship, the University of Arkansas Leadership Scholarship, the Mamie Bull Memorial Scholarship, and the Russell W. Davis Memorial Scholarship. The Marshall Scholarship will provide him the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in development studies in the U.K. before returning to the U.S. and attending Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
The University of Arkansas has had six Marshall Scholars and 10 Rhodes Scholars. Previous Marshall Scholars include Ben Hood (2002), Megan Ceronsky (2001), Warwick Sabin (1998), Charles King (1990), Lisa Pruett (1989), and John Edie (1960). Previous Rhodes Scholars include Anna Terry (2001), Eric Wear (1985), William Huff (1957), Gaston Williamson (1935), J. William Fulbright (1925), Phillip Brodie (1913), John Shipley (1911), Morris Cleveland (1908), Charles A. Keith (1907), and Neil Carothers (1904).
The office of nationally competitive awards assists U of A students and recent alumni who are competing for national fellowships and scholarships. More information about the office is available at http://awards.uark.edu/.
Suzanne McCray, vice provost for enrollment
Office of Nationally Competitive Awards
Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
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