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KU News Release

October 27, 2005
Contact: Sue Lorenz, KU Honors Program, (785) 864-3374.

6 nominees selected to represent KU in national Rhodes, Marshall competitions

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas has nominated six candidates to compete for the prestigious Rhodes and Marshall scholarships that cover tuition and living expenses for two years of graduate study in Great Britain. The nominees will be honored at a reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Nunemaker Center.

Four of the 2005-06 nominees are graduates with dual degrees; one completes the second degree in December. All six nominees are competing for a Marshall and four are also competing for a Rhodes scholarship.

Nominees competing for both scholarships are:

  • Rachel Lynn Cloud, Leawood senior in Spanish, preparing to graduate in May 2006.
  • Anna Dimmitt Gregory, Independence, May 2005 graduate in political science and history, in Washington, D.C., with Teach for America.
  • Adam John Letsch Irwin, Bunker Hill, May 2005 graduate in political science and preparing to graduate with a degree in economics in December.
  • Katharine Eileen Piller, Lawrence senior in classical languages, preparing to graduate in May 2006.

Competing solely for a Marshall scholarship:

  • Evan Christian Grosshans, Lawrence, May 2005 graduate with degrees in theater from fine arts and from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, working in Memphis, Tenn.
  • Nathaniel Beau Hancock, May 2005 graduate with degrees in American studies and dance, touring with the Ben Munisteri Dance Company in New York City. He is a Hugoton High School graduate whose parents live in LaGrange, Texas.

The Marshall commission will conduct interviews in eight regions Nov. 7-12. KU nominees selected for regional interviews will travel to Chicago along with other competitors from Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The Marshall commission will announce about 40 winners shortly after the interviews, and those selected are asked to accept or decline the offer within 10 to 12 days.

Rhodes competitions take place Nov. 18 and 19 in 16 U.S. districts. KU nominees will interview in Kansas City, Mo., alongside competitors from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Mississippi. Two winners are selected from each district and will be announced Nov. 20 or 21. Separate state interviews are no longer conducted.

KU students have won 25 Rhodes scholarships since 1904, more than all other Kansas colleges and universities combined, and nine Marshall scholarships since 1965. Rhodes Scholarships were first offered in 1903 and Marshalls in 1953. Rhodes Scholarships may be used only at Oxford University; Marshall Scholarships, at any British university.
Brief biographical information about each KU nominee follows:

DOUGLAS COUNTY
From Lawrence
Evan Christian Grosshans received two bachelor's degrees in theater in May 2005 and graduated with highest distinction from the School of Fine Arts and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences -- an honor for those whose grades put them in the top 3 percent of each school's graduating class. He is working as an associate company member for Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, Tenn., and plans a career in the performing arts. With a Marshall Scholarship, Grosshans would pursue a master's degree at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he has auditioned and was accepted. At KU, Grosshans was a National Merit Scholar who demonstrated talent in math and science as well as theatre. He has performed with the University Theatre at KU, the Kansas Summer Theatre and the Seagle Music Colony in New York. An Eagle Scout, Grosshans is an experienced wilderness guide for scout camps in New Mexico and Colorado. While studying in Scotland, he traveled with the University of Stirling Mountaineering Club. He is the son of Kip and Kay Grosshans and is a Lawrence High School graduate.

Katharine Eileen Piller, senior in classical languages, plans to teach classics at a university and hopes to reach a larger public by translating classical literature of the Greeks and Romans. Piller is particularly interested in relating the values of peaceful living reflected in the pastoral and elegiac poetry of the classics to modern times. As a volunteer crisis counselor in Lawrence, for example, Piller has observed gaps in mental health care that leave people without resources "they need to live the peaceful and fulfilling lives they deserve." She has been a residential counselor and a teaching assistant for academically gifted junior high school students in the Duke Talent Identification Program at KU. In her junior year, she studied classics at Oxford University. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society and has won prizes for her translations of Latin and Greek. She is president of KU's Classics Club and co-founder of the KU Slip and Slide Club, which focuses on whimsy to relieve stress. She has been a horseback riding instructor and works in KU's Office of Study Abroad. She is the daughter of Lynn and Sally Piller and is a Lawrence Free State High School graduate.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Leawood
Rachel Lynn Cloud, senior majoring in Spanish with a French minor, plans a career utilizing development studies with a focus on gender in an international organization. Her interests include public policy and social justice. An experience this past summer while working as a Global Justice volunteer in a Nicaraguan village brought home for Cloud the value of development in changing lives. When asked by a village midwife to photograph an infant who had died in childbirth, Cloud realized that the baby would have lived had good roads, transportation and adequate medical facilities been available. At KU, Cloud has volunteered as a Spanish translator for El Centro in metropolitan Kansas City and as a court advocate with the Women's Transitional Care Services in Lawrence. At age 15, Cloud was an exchange student in southern Chile with the American Field Service. She works as a research assistant for Paul D'Anieri, professor of political science and her mentor through the University Scholars program for a select group of sophomores at KU. She is the daughter of Laura Cloud and is a Shawnee Mission East High School graduate.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY
From Independence
Anna Dimmitt Gregory, May 2005 graduate in political science and history, is teaching fifth grade in Washington, D.C., through Teach for America and is working on master's degree in education at American University. Gregory plans a career in international service advocating for third world countries to rejuvenate their economies and build civil societies. She has worked as a program assistant at the U.S. State Department and as a research assistant for KU's Center for International Political Analysis. As president of KU's chapter of Amnesty International, Gregory led lobbying efforts against the death penalty in Kansas. She wrote a column for the student newspaper and was communications director for Student Senate. She has volunteered with the Alternative Breaks program, serving in a women's shelter in Chicago and coordinating after-school tutoring programs in Kansas City, Mo. She graduated with highest distinction and is a member of several honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta and Pi Sigma Alpha. She was a Watkins-Berger Scholar at KU. She is the daughter of the Revs. Guy "Jack" and Marilyn Gregory of Independence and is a Topeka High School graduate.

RUSSELL COUNTY
From Bunker Hill
Adam John Letsch Irwin, May 2005 graduate in political science, is preparing to graduate with a degree in economics in December. Irwin, whose childhood included growing up on a wheat farm in western Kansas, plans a career of service as an economic development analyst focused on market stability in developing nations. A first-generation college student, Irwin noted in his competition essays that many in his family have sacrificed to help him succeed. While completing his second degree, Irwin is working as an intern with Ernst & Young LLP, an accounting firm in Kansas City, Mo. Irwin graduated with highest distinction in May and will do so again in December, an honor for those whose grades put them in the top 3 percent of the liberal arts and sciences graduates. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Kappa Alpha honor societies. His honors thesis assessed the solvency of China's largest financial institutions in a decentralized, semi-market environment. As president of KU's Circle K International chapter, a Kiwanis-sponsored organization, Irwin inspired the membership to raise funds on campus and across the state to benefit displaced persons in Darfur, Sudan. Working with KU's Amnesty International chapter, Irwin helped organize a concert that raised more than $1,000 for Doctors Without Borders work in Darfur. He is the son of Donna Letsch and is a Russell High School graduate.

STEVENS COUNTY
From Hugoton and from LaGrange, Texas
Nathaniel Beau Hancock (see Texas).

TEXAS
From LaGrange and Hugoton, Kan.
Nathaniel Beau Hancock, May 2005 graduate with degrees in American studies and dance, is focused on a career studying the significance of dance through choreography, performance and history. He plans to pursue a doctorate in history with a goal of teaching, research and performance at a university. Although he had trained in dance since childhood, as a high school senior with track and field skills Hancock had planned to study law. At KU, a dance scholarship and an American studies program presented options that combined his interests in performance and academics. With an undergraduate research award Hancock began a study that became his honors program thesis: researching the role of dance in the Swedish settlement of Lindsborg, Kan. He presented his thesis at the 2005 Congress of Research in Dance conference and at KU's Undergraduate Research symposium. In addition to performing with the University Dance Company, Hancock was a founding member of the Bowery Dancers, an experimental company focused on performances that involved an entire community. Hancock has created new works combining dance and poetry with a Lawrence Arts Commission grant and dances with the 940 Dance Company at the Lawrence Arts Center. At KU, Hancock graduated with highest distinction in fine arts and liberal arts and sciences. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society and was a Kansas/Asia Scholar in addition to receiving numerous dance awards. He is the son of Steven and Jennifer Hancock and is a Hugoton High School graduate.

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