Senior McPherson Newell Selected as Finalist for Marshall Scholarship

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MACON – Mercer University senior McPherson Newell was selected as a finalist for the Marshall Scholarship, which finances young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom.

Only as many as 50 Marshall Scholars are selected each year to study at the graduate level at a U.K. institution in any field of study.

Newell, a biomedical engineering major from Augusta, has also been named a Goldwater Scholar, Newman Civic Fellow, Stamps Scholar and a finalist for the Truman Scholarship.

“McPherson is one of the most exceptional students in the United States,” said Dr. David A. Davis, director of fellowships and scholarships and associate professor of English at Mercer. “They have distinguished themselves as a researcher and as an activist at the highest levels. Their range of accomplishments is astonishing, and they are poised to have a career that makes a major impact on how people with complicated bodies live their lives.”

Newell plans to pursue a master’s degree in disability studies, a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and a professorship in rehabilitation engineering at a research university in order to advocate for accessibility in academia, conduct research on low-cost assistive technology and create research opportunities for LGBTQ+ and disabled students.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized as a Marshall Scholarship finalist, and I am excited by the support for interdisciplinary work in the fields of engineering and disability studies that has been displayed by both the Marshall Commission and by Mercer University faculty,” said Newell. “In particular, I am grateful to Dr. (Michael) MacCarthy, Dr. (Dorothy) Buchli, Dr. (Linda) Hensel, Dr. (Laura) Lackey and Mrs. (Mónica) Resto-Fernandez for providing the mentorship, encouragement and accommodation I hope to provide to my own future students.”

Newell serves as president of Common Ground, the University’s LGBTQ+ and ally organization; co-chair of the Rainbow Connection Committee, a student-led initiative to provide Mercer faculty and staff with information and resources to create an affirming environment for LGBTQ+ students; and a Disability:IN NextGen Leader, a national program for college students and recent graduates with disabilities who have demonstrated talent and leadership in the STEM, finance and business fields.

Newell has received the Department of Mathematics Outstanding Student Award and a Mercer Visionary Student Panel grant, among other accolades.

As future leaders, with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions.

One- and two-year scholarships cover university fees, cost of living expenses, annual book grant, thesis grant, research and daily travel grants, fares to and from the U.S. and, where applicable, a contribution towards the support of a dependent spouse.

About the School of Engineering

Mercer University’s School of Engineering, founded in 1985, offers innovative and academically challenging programs that provide students with a comprehensive education, featuring a solid foundation in mathematics and sciences, a core engineering curriculum, a range of courses in engineering specialties and a strong emphasis on communication technologies. The School is consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top three master’s-degree-level engineering schools in the Southeast. Known for its breadth of instruction in its undergraduate program and its five-year joint bachelor’s and master’s degree program, the School combines technical education with hands-on laboratory experience. Mercer engineers can look forward to joining fellow alumni in companies such as Robins Air Force Base, Mercer Engineering Research Center, Northrop Grumman, Georgia Power, Manhattan Associates and Gulfstream Aerospace.

Kyle Sears
Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​