MSU Honors Student Nominated for Three Major Awards

Editor’s Note:  The story below was originally published on the Michigan State University Today site on November 13, 2013…

Craig Pearson, an Honors College senior majoring in neuroscience, biochemistry and molecular biology in the College of Natural Science and English in the College of Arts and Letters, has been selected to interview for the Rhodes Scholarship and the Marshall Scholarship and has been nominated for the Churchill Scholarship.

Pearson is from Bloomfield Hills and graduated from University of Detroit Jesuit High School.

If awarded, he would become MSU’s 18th Marshall Scholar, its 17th Rhodes Scholar and its 17th Churchill Scholar.

Pearson was named a Goldwater Scholar in 2012 and he served on MSU’s 2013-14 Homecoming Court.

Stemming from a high school volunteering position in which he worked with students who have visual impairments, Pearson wants to develop treatments for blindness and visual impairments.

“In the past, going from blindness to sight has seemed practically unthinkable,” he said. “But in today’s climate of groundbreaking scientific research, this phenomenon is not merely possible, but a realistic goal. With dedication and rigorous research, we can restore vision and change lives. I want to be part of that phenomenon – to be there when someone opens his or her eyes and experiences the unimaginable rush of new sight.”

Pearson entered MSU as an Alumni Distinguished Scholarship recipient and now serves as an undergraduate research assistant in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and an undergraduate lab manager and lead undergraduate researcher for the Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Lab.

He has served as a clinical volunteer at the MSU Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology. Pearson also is the student managing editor for ReCUR, the Red Cedar Undergraduate Research Journal, and is the founder and managing editor of Exceptions: The Art and Literary Journal for Students with Visual Disabilities.

“Craig has impressed us with his academic talent and service to others and we’re hopeful that he’ll be just as impressive during his interviews,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the MSU Honors College.

– See more at: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/msu-senior-nominated-for-prestigious-scholarships/#sthash.s2Odq0x1.dpuf

Craig Pearson, an Honors College senior majoring in neuroscience, biochemistry and molecular biology in the College of Natural Science and English in the College of Arts and Letters, has been selected to interview for the Rhodes Scholarship and the Marshall Scholarship and has been nominated for the Churchill Scholarship.

Pearson is from Bloomfield Hills and graduated from University of Detroit Jesuit High School.

If awarded, he would become MSU’s 18th Marshall Scholar, its 17th Rhodes Scholar and its 17th Churchill Scholar.

Pearson was named a Goldwater Scholar in 2012 and he served on MSU’s 2013-14 Homecoming Court.

Stemming from a high school volunteering position in which he worked with students who have visual impairments, Pearson wants to develop treatments for blindness and visual impairments.

“In the past, going from blindness to sight has seemed practically unthinkable,” he said. “But in today’s climate of groundbreaking scientific research, this phenomenon is not merely possible, but a realistic goal. With dedication and rigorous research, we can restore vision and change lives. I want to be part of that phenomenon – to be there when someone opens his or her eyes and experiences the unimaginable rush of new sight.”

Pearson entered MSU as an Alumni Distinguished Scholarship recipient and now serves as an undergraduate research assistant in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and an undergraduate lab manager and lead undergraduate researcher for the Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Lab.

He has served as a clinical volunteer at the MSU Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology. Pearson also is the student managing editor for ReCUR, the Red Cedar Undergraduate Research Journal, and is the founder and managing editor of Exceptions: The Art and Literary Journal for Students with Visual Disabilities.

“Craig has impressed us with his academic talent and service to others and we’re hopeful that he’ll be just as impressive during his interviews,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the MSU Honors College.

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New MSU Honors College Students: Why They Chose Honors

Editor’s Note: The following item comes from the staff of Michigan State University Today.

Citing interests in research opportunities, study abroad programs and the flexibility offered by the Michigan State University Honors College, 20 top high school scholars have chosen MSU for the next chapter of their academic careers.

The students’ average high school grade point average is approximately 4.3. The average ACT score is 35 (out of 36) and the average SAT score (critical reading plus math only) is 1520 (out of 1600).

The newest Alumni Distinguished Scholarship and University Distinguished Scholarship recipients hail from Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

The scholarships, which are considered among the most competitive awards in the country, are valued at more than $115,000 for in-state students and $190,000 for out-of-state students. They cover full tuition, room and board and a stipend for up to eight semesters of study.

All students will join MSU’s Honors College along with approximately 500 other outstanding incoming students.

Alumni Distinguished Scholars:

  • Rebecca Carlson of Rockford, Rockford High School
  • Kevin Chase of League City, Texas, Clear Creek High School
  • Tyler Alden Cochran of Manhattan, Kan., Manhattan High School
  • Kim Gannon of Downers Grove, Ill., Lemont High School
  • Adam Greene of Taylor, Harry S Truman High School
  • John Groetsch of Holt, Okemos High School
  • Thomas Grubb of Haslett, Haslett High School
  • Laura Hesse of Madison, Ind., Shawe Memorial High School
  • Abigail Lewis Johnson of Winter Springs, Fla., Winter Springs High School
  • Claire Morrison of Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe South High School
  • Joseph Mulka of Livonia, Churchill High School
  • Patrick Murray of Taylor, Harry S Truman High School
  • Adam Michał Olszewski of Ann Arbor, Pioneer High School
  • Matthew Suandi of Williamston, Williamston High School
  • Angela Sun of Canton, Plymouth-Canton High School
  • John Wenzel of Haslett, Haslett High School

University Distinguished Scholars:

  • Eric Boerman of Mohnton, Pa., Twin Valley High School
  • Jaazaniah Catterall of Rock Springs, Wyo., Rock Springs High School
  • Zach Farmer of Cincinnati, Ohio, Anderson High School
  • Ana Veskovic of Allentown, Pa., Parkland High School

Alumni Distinguished Scholars were selected from more than 1,100 of the top high school seniors who applied to MSU and took an intensive general knowledge exam. They were then selected by a committee composed of faculty and administrators based on the results of the exam, high school programs and achievements, other standardized test scores and interviews with the finalists.

University Distinguished Scholars were chosen from an MSU applicant pool based on academic records, accomplishments and interviews with the finalists. Students were selected by the director of admissions and dean of the Honors College on the basis of their high school programs, achievements and standardized test scores.

For more information about the scholarships, visit the Honors College or the Office of Admissions.

MSU Lyman Briggs College Is a Great Answer to STEM Demand

While the state of Florida plans to charge less tuition for STEM majors, the Lyman Briggs College at MSU has been attracting students in these high-demand fields for more than 40 years without penalizing students in the humanities and social sciences.  Indeed, LBC is dedicated to bridging the gap between the hard sciences and the liberal arts.

The LBC began in 1967 in response to C.P. Snow’s famous concept that “Two Cultures” had grown up in academe, with the unfortunate results that education in what we now call the STEM subjects was often separated from education in the other “culture” of the humanities and social sciences.

The LBC welcomes about 625 freshmen each year, many of the honors students at MSU.  The core curriculum includes calculus, general chemistry, physics, biology, and a three-course sequence in the history, philosophy, and sociology of science (HPS courses).  Students take upper-division STEM courses in as many as 17 different majors and may choose to complete a capstone project that encompasses both major work and HPS classes.

Students have the benefit of much smaller classes, inquiry-based and research-oriented instruction, and frequent association with faculty and other STEM students who attend classes at LBC.

LBC students are eligible to become Undergraduate Learning Assistants as early as their sophomore year, giving them the opportunity to assist faculty with teaching and research.  In addition, through MSU’s excellent honors college, there are 94 Professional Assistants at LBC who work on research-intensive projects.

The results:  the freshman retention rate for LBC students is 95.5 percent.  Some 82-86 percent graduate in six years, versus an MSU average of 74-76 percent–an exceptionally strong figure given the rigor of STEM studies.  Nationally only about 50 percent of incoming STEM majors actually graduate with STEM degrees.  For LBC students, the percentage is 70 percent, including a strong rate for female students and students of color.

Finally, the number of LBC grads pursuing post-graduate work is 80 percent, an extremely high number.