MSU senior Brode claims prestigious Marshall Scholarship

Contact: Carl Smith

Portrait of Madison Brode
Madison Brode (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Madison Brode, a senior biological sciences major at Mississippi State, is the university’s first recipient of the Marshall Scholarship, a prestigious award annually providing a select 50 American students graduate-level study in the United Kingdom.

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

“Gifted and accomplished scholars like Madison Brode are a strong testament to the mission and vision of our university,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “I am so proud of Madison’s superior record of academic success and of how magnificently she represents our faculty, staff and students. Our Shackouls Honors College continues to be a launching pad for excellence.”

Brode, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, will study biodiversity, conservation and management at the University of Oxford in England, where she completed two previous study-abroad sessions. A portion of her overseas experiences was funded by scholarships from MSU's Turner A. Wingo Honors College Excellence and Dr. Nancy Hargrove Study Abroad endowments.

“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,” said Brode, who has conducted significant research in ornithology and behavioral ecology of birds. “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.”

Brode is a highly decorated MSU student expected to receive her undergraduate degree in spring 2024. This year, she was named one of the university’s latest recipients of the nationally renowned Astronaut Scholarship, an award recognizing the best and brightest science-, technology-, engineering- and mathematics-focused students in the U.S. Brode is a 2022 recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship, the country’s preeminent undergraduate award for STEM students, and MSU’s Dr. William E. Gardiner Memorial Award for academic achievement and leadership development in biology. She previously was named an MSU Provost Scholar and was recognized by the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement for her volunteer efforts.

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

MSU Office of Prestigious External Scholarships Director David Hoffman said Brode “truly encapsulates the Marshall Scholarship program,” and her undergraduate career shows MSU provides pathways for students to excel in global scholarship, leadership and service.

“Madison’s successful application was built upon leveraging both study abroad and research, which were made possible by generous donations and the support of the Shackouls Honors College,” Hoffman said, “as well as her research mentor, Dr. Kristine Evans, in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture.”

Founded by a 1953 Act of Parliament and named in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Marshall Scholarship commemorates the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan and expresses the continuing gratitude of the British people to their American counterparts, according to its website.

Marshall Scholarships are open to U.S. citizens who hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited American college with a minimum 3.7 grade-point average. The award covers university fees, cost of living expenses and books, while also supporting thesis, research and daily travel grants and fares to and from the U.S.

Visit for more information about the MSU Office of Prestigious External Scholarships.

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