MSU senior makes history as recipient of Marshall Scholarship

Madison Brode (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University has awarded its first Marshall Scholarship to Madison Brode, a senior majoring in biological sciences. The Marshall Scholarship is a prestigious award that grants 50 American students the opportunity to pursue graduate-level study in the United Kingdom each year.

Picture of Madison Brode with MSU President Mark E. Keenum

Madison Brode with MSU President Mark E. Keenum (Photo by Beth Wynn)

MSU President Mark E. Keenum expressed his pride in Madison Brode and her remarkable academic achievements, stating, “Gifted and accomplished scholars like Madison Brode are a strong testament to the mission and vision of our university. I am so proud of Madison’s record of academic success and her representation of our faculty, staff, and students. Our Shackouls Honors College has once again paved the way for excellence.”

Madison Brode, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, will study biodiversity, conservation, and management at the University of Oxford in England. She has previously completed two study-abroad sessions in the U.K. with the support of scholarships from MSU’s Turner A. Wingo Honors College Excellence and Dr. Nancy Hargrove Study Abroad endowments.

Expressing her excitement, Madison Brode shared, “I am so extremely excited and honored to be selected as a Marshall Scholar, and I am thrilled to be returning to the U.K. to pursue graduate studies. The support I’ve had in pursuing research, studying abroad, and applying to external scholarships as a student at MSU has been incredible. I think winning the Marshall Scholarship is undoubtedly a reflection of the amazing opportunities I’ve had during my undergraduate career. What initially drew me to the U.K. and what makes me want to return for graduate study is its rich history of studying and conserving birds. In whatever role I am in after college, I hope I can connect people to nature.”

Madison Brode is expected to receive her undergraduate degree in spring 2024. She is a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Astronaut Scholarship, the Goldwater Scholarship, and the Dr. William E. Gardiner Memorial Award. Brode has also been recognized for her volunteer efforts by the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement.

Madison Brode holding a Zebra finch

Madison Brode holds a zebra finch. (Photo by Jonah Holland)

According to MSU Office of Prestigious External Scholarships Director David Hoffman, Madison Brode is an exemplary representation of the Marshall Scholarship program. Her achievements demonstrate how MSU provides opportunities for students to excel in global scholarship, leadership, and service. Hoffman credited the Shackouls Honors College, generous donations, and the guidance of Brode’s research mentor, Dr. Kristine Evans, for her successful application.

The Marshall Scholarships were founded in 1953 as a tribute to U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall. The scholarships commemorate the ideals of the Marshall Plan and express the British people’s gratitude towards their American counterparts.

To be eligible for a Marshall Scholarship, applicants must be U.S. citizens holding an undergraduate degree from an accredited American college with a minimum 3.7 GPA. The award covers university fees, cost of living expenses, and books, while also providing support for thesis, research, and daily travel grants, as well as travel fares to and from the U.S.

For more information about the MSU Office of Prestigious External Scholarships, visit

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