He Will Study at Oxford University for the 2010-2012 Academic Years
By Joan Niesen
Columbia, Mo. (Dec. 3, 2009) — Brian Pellot, a senior at the Missouri School of Journalism, has received a prestigious Marshall Scholarship for the 2010-2012 academic years.
The scholarship, which is given to up to 40 American students each year, finances students’ education at academic institutions in the United Kingdom. Pellot will spend the next two years pursuing a master of philosophy degree in modern Middle Eastern studies at Oxford University.
“Oxford’s modern Middle Eastern studies program is a perfect match for me,” he said. “I really want to investigate and report on the region in-depth, so this background study will be crucial.”
Pellot, who is pursuing a double major in convergence journalism and international studies, is the first student at the University of Missouri to receive a Marshall Scholarship since 1983. Pellot, whose hometown is Wausau, Wis., is a 2006 Walter Williams Scholar, a group of the highest-achieving journalism freshmen who have earned at least a 33 on the ACT (1440 SAT).
“It’s a great honor to be Mizzou’s first Marshall Scholar in more than 25 years,” Pellot said. “I hope more students are encouraged to apply in future years.”
Pellot was one of more than 200 applicants from the Chicago region to the scholarship program. He learned at the beginning of November that he was on a short list of 25 candidates, and he traveled to Chicago for a 30-minute interview in front of an eight-person panel. He learned the next day by phone that he had received the scholarship.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to receive this award,” he said. “I was on the treadmill at Mizzou’s Rec Center when the Consul General in Chicago called me to share the good news. I was out of breath and surprised to hear word so soon after the interviews, but ecstatic.”
Pellot has a wealth of experience in Middle Eastern studies, as he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and Clinton Scholar at the American University in Dubai. In 2009, Pellot monitored Lebanon’s parliamentary elections and reported for Inter Press Service News Agency and Foreign Policy. He also has reported for the Huffington Post on trips to Egypt, Qatar and Jordan.
“Brian richly deserves this opportunity, and he has earned it. He immersed himself in Middle Eastern studies by finding every opportunity possible to get there and learn about the region,” said Brian Brooks, associate dean. “He is extraordinarily bright and highly motivated. It has been a privilege to have him as a student at Mizzou.”