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U. of I. senior named Marshall Scholar

Laura Prusik, News Bureau


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Ian Clausen, a senior in religious studies and English at the University of Illinois, has been named a Marshall Scholar. 

Each year, 40 students from the United States are selected as Marshall Scholars to study at a university in the United Kingdom for two years.

Clausen is the first U. of I. student to receive a Marshall scholarship in 10 years.  A member of the Campus Honors Program and the English department honors program, Clausen also is a James Scholar and a Cohn Scholar in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a Raymond Seng Scholar in the English department. 

“As it starts to sink in, I’m really excited about the opportunities out there,” said Clausen, who is from Wheaton, Ill. “This award opens new avenues for scholarship and service.”

The British government funds the scholarships in gratitude to the United States for the Marshall Plan. Students must have a minimum of a 3.7 grade-point average to qualify, said David Schug, co-director of Scholarships for International Study at Illinois.

“They’re looking at the absolutely top-of-the-line students,” Schug said. 

Clausen was a member of the U. of I. cross-country team for two years and the track team for one year. He received conference academic honors in fall 2005.  Although he no longer runs competitively, he still runs about 50 miles per week recreationally. 

In addition to his academic success, Clausen also is involved on campus.  He co-founded an AIDS organization called Acting on AIDS, is actively involved in Campus Crusade for Christ, is a Learning Leader in the College of LAS and leads a ministry for international students.

After he graduates in May, Clausen will use his Marshall Scholarship to focus on two areas of study: theological ethics, and heresiology and ethics, both at the University of Edinburgh.

Each topic is a one-year program, and he will receive a master’s degree for each of the two programs during his time at Edinburgh.

His goal is “to work with religion and ethics within an academic environment” after earning a doctorate in religious studies and ethics.