LAWRENCE — A committee coordinated by the University of Kansas Honors Program has selected four outstanding students to compete for prestigious Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, which provide for study in the United Kingdom.
Jenny Lynn Curatola, a May 2013 graduate from Lansing who earned her Bachelor of Arts in theater and is currently pursuing two additional degrees in English and global and international studies, is a Rhodes and Marshall nominee.
Nicholas Anthony Kellum, a senior majoring in global and international studies from Baxter Springs, is a Rhodes and Marshall nominee.
Lianna Dang, a senior majoring in chemistry from Shawnee, is a Marshall nominee.
Mary Holiday (Holly) Lafferty, a senior from Prairie Village majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology with a minor in journalism, is a Marshall nominee.
Each of the nominees is a member of KU’s prestigious University Honors Program. KU students have won 26 Rhodes scholarships, more than all other universities in Kansas combined, beginning with Murray Earle in 1904 and most recently with Kelsey Murrell in 2011. KU students have won nine Marshall scholarships.
The Rhodes scholarship, the world’s oldest international fellowship, awards 32 Rhodes scholarships among 16 U.S. districts, providing all expenses for one to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. The Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission of Britain annually awards up to 40 Marshall Scholarships for graduate study at any university in the United Kingdom.
The 2013 Rhodes interviews will take place Nov. 22-23. If invited, KU nominees will interview in St. Louis alongside competitors from a district that includes Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri and South Carolina. Two winners will be selected from each district immediately after the Nov. 23 interviews.
KU's nominees for Marshall scholarships are competing in the Chicago region. Winners in the Chicago region will be selected shortly after Nov. 14-15 interviews for finalists. Nominees selected for finalist interviews will travel to Chicago along with competitors from Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Winners have 12 days to accept or decline the offer.
Biographical information about the students, including academic achievements and leadership on and of campus, is listed below.
Jenny Lynn Curatola, Lansing, Lansing High School, is the daughter of John and Debra Curatola. Curatola completed a Bachelor of Arts in theatre in May 2013 and is continuing her studies at KU this year to complete two additional bachelor’s degrees in English and global and international studies, and a minor in Italian. Curatola is a Rhodes and Marshall nominee. With a Rhodes scholarship, Curatola would pursue an Master of Philosophy in Modern Middle East Studies. With a Marshall Scholarship, she would pursue a Master of Arts in Near and Middle East studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and a Master of Arts in Theatre Practice: Applied Theatre at the University of Exeter. Curatola is a member of the University Honors Program, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a Hall Center Scholar and a winner of the Jack and Lavon Brosseau Creativity Award. She held a 2013 Coro Kansas City Internship in Public Affairs. She is featured on the 2013 KU Women of Distinction Calendar and is a member of the Undergraduate Advisory Board for the Arab Uprisings Lecture Series.
Lianna Dang, Shawnee, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, is the daughter of Phu Dang and Christine Lau. Dang is a senior major in chemistry. Dang is a Marshall nominee who would use the scholarship to pursue an Master of Philosophy in Nanotechnology and Enterprise at the University of Cambridge and an Master of Research in Catalysis: Chemistry and Engineering at Imperial College in London. Her honors include designation as a 2013 Goldwater Scholar, initiation into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior and membership in the University Honors Program. She has two high-impact publications and has presented her research at conferences. She is president of the KU Chem Club and works actively in public outreach for the sciences, particularly with the Girl Scouts. Dang received a Center for Undergraduate Research Award and is part of the Center’s inaugural team of KU Research Leaders.
Mary Holiday (Holly) Lafferty, Prairie Village, Shawnee Mission East High School, is the daughter of George and Cynthia Lafferty. Lafferty is a senior majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology and minoring in journalism. Lafferty is a Marshall nominee who hopes to pursue an Master of Science in Aquatic Ecology at Queen Mary, University of London and an Master of Science in Conservation Science and Policy at the University of Exeter. Lafferty was a Mount Oread Scholar and served on the student board for the program for high-achieving freshmen. She is a member of the University Honors Program, a KU Student Ambassador and a member of the inaugural team of KU Research Leaders in the Center for Undergraduate Research, from which she has received an Undergraduate Research Award. She has conducted ecological fieldwork in Kansas, Arizona, Belize and Peru.
Nicholas Anthony Kellum, Baxter Springs, Baxter Springs High School, is the son of Bert and Lori Kellum. Kellum is a senior majoring in global and international studies. He is a Rhodes and Marshall nominee. With a Rhodes scholarship, Kellum would pursue an Master of Philosophy in International Relations. With a Marshall scholarship, he would pursue a Master of Science in International Relations of the Middle East at the University of Edinburgh. He is a 2013 recipient of a Critical Languages Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State, which supported his study of Arabic in Oman this summer. He is a current recipient of a Foreign Languages Area Studies Scholarship through the Center for Global and International Studies, and is a member of the Undergraduate Advisory Board for the Arab Uprisings Lecture Series.