When considering applicants for prestigious scholarships earlier this year, Kansas University Honors Program Director Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett said four students stood out.
The four are competing for Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell scholarships, which provide funds for graduate study in Great Britain, Ireland or Northern Ireland.
The four — all members of the University Honors Program — have outstanding academic records, but that wasn’t the determining factor in their eventual nomination, said McCluskey-Fawcett.
“Each one had a really interesting personal story that made them memorable,” she said.
The nominees are:
• Brenna Mae Thompson Daldorph, a Lawrence senior majoring in journalism and French, who is competing for Rhodes and Marshall scholarships.
She plans to become a journalist covering migration and transnationalism. She has volunteered with No Mas Muertes/No More Deaths, a humanitarian organization providing aid to Mexican migrants in the Sonora desert.
• Samuel Walton Atherton, an Overland Park senior majoring in history, who is pursuing a Mitchell scholarship.
The president of the KU activist organization Delta Force, Atherton plans to pursue a career in civil rights law. He has volunteered at the Lawrence Community Shelter, and has organized events to fight sexual and domestic violence.
• Earl Holmes Brooks, a Topeka senior majoring in American studies and music, who is competing for Rhodes and Marshall scholarships.
Brooks plans to teach American music and culture, and provides free music lessons to those in his high school who cannot afford them. He has also conducted two undergraduate studies related to jazz music.
• Amanda M. Shriwise, an Overland Park senior majoring in dance and economics, who is competing for a Marshall scholarship.
She plans to enter medical school, having been shaped by her volunteer experiences in Tanzania. She co-directs KU’s Center for Community Outreach, which matches student volunteers with community agencies.