Just days after being named Mr.
Mountaineer, a competitive award that recognizes exemplary academic
achievement and extracurricular involvement, West
Virginia University senior Garrett Burgess got word that he is a finalist
for the prestigious British Marshall Scholarship.
Marshall Scholarships offer up to 40 young Americans of high ability the opportunity to study for a graduate degree in the United Kingdom. Burgess will interview for one of the coveted spots Nov. 13.
An Honors College senior from Elkview, Burgess is double majoring in Russian studies and political science. He is wing commander of the Air Force ROTC Detachment at WVU, an AFROTC Commander’s Scholar and an outreach assistant with the WVU College of Law’s Veteran’s Clinic.
He has studied abroad the past three summers in Romania, France and Lithuania, and last year interned with the U.S. State Department in the Regional Security Office at the U.S. Embassy in Riga, Latvia.
Burgess is also president of the WVU Russian Club and Model United Nations team, a project assistant in the Department of World Languages and a campus sexual assault responder with the Title IX Peer Advocate Program.
An avid runner, he competes in marathons and triathlons.
If selected as a British Marshall Scholar, Burgess plans to pursue two Master of Science degrees, one in Russian and Eastern European studies and one in global security at the University of Glasgow.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to interview for the British Marshall Scholarship,” Burgess said. “West Virginia University has truly prepared me for my future academic pursuits and my future career in the United States Air Force. Specifically, the WVU ASPIRE Office, along with my professors, advisors and Air Force ROTC cadre have been incredibly supportive of my academic and extracurricular activities. From their support I have been able to study abroad three times and intern at the U.S. Embassy in Riga, Latvia, where I developed my passion for Eastern European diplomacy and security.
“The education that the University of Glasgow would provide me, if awarded this scholarship, would further expand my knowledge of Eastern Europe and its ties to global security. Regardless of the outcome, I will leave this University knowing that I am considerably prepared to take on whatever happens next in my life because of the experiences I have had at WVU.”
Marshall Scholar advisor Lisa Di Bartolomeo says Burgess is ready for this next challenge. “I am so excited for Garrett to enter the next round of interviews for this wonderful scholarship,” she said. “He’s going to be working with faculty and advisors on campus in the days leading up to his interview in Washington, D.C., to ensure that he is ready as he can be for the incredible rounds of questions from international experts. I am confident, once they meet him and see what a committed, involved and intelligent young man he is, he’ll impress them with no trouble. It is also a measure of WVU’s excellent faculty and staff to see our students gaining national and international recognition for their achievements.”
Founded by a 1953 Act of Parliament, and named in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C Marshall, the British Marshall Scholarships commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan and they express the continuing gratitude of the British people to their American counterparts.
WVU has had two previous British Marshall scholarship recipients, including Di Bartolomeo.
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