John Calhoun, a University of Richmond philosophy graduate presently teaching and researching in Taiwan as a Fulbright scholar, is one of 35 recent American college graduates awarded a 2010 Marshall Scholarship for study in the United Kingdom.
Calhoun of the Bronx, N.Y., received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Richmond last May, along with the university’s Clarence J. Gray Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Leadership. He is this year’s only winner from a Virginia college or university.
Up to 40 Marshall Scholarships are awarded annually to young Americans of high ability for study at any British college or university in any field. Calhoun will study at the University of York for a one-year master’s of education policy, followed by a one-year master’s of public policy. His research will focus on how public policy can be used to increase equality of opportunity throughout the United States.
Calhoun is teaching at Ling Jhuo Elementary School in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, while conducting research into the extent to which Taiwan's success at K-9 education is attributable to potentially exportable education policies.
Richmond’s second Marshall Scholar in three years is no stranger to the United Kingdom. He studied there during his junior year at the University of Oxford, winning special praise in philosophy and politics and volunteering for Tutors for a Change. During his senior year, Calhoun won a Yitzhak Rabin Fellowship from the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C. Through the fellowship, Calhoun sat for private seminars with influential Middle East policymakers, including Martin Indyk and Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.
At Richmond, Calhoun helped launch the Collegiate Disaster Relief Team, mobilizing dozens of undergraduate students for service trips to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. He also founded the university’s parliamentary debate team, wrote political commentary for the student newspaper, served as poetry assistant editor of the campus literary magazine and chaired the Senior Class Gift Committee.
While a student at Regis High School in the Bronx, Calhoun started an after-school program offering children of low-income families a place to go and work on math, reading and social skills. He is the son of Sarah Wilde of the Bronx and Dennis Calhoun of Long Beach, N.Y.
Marshall Scholars must be recent graduates with a minimum grade-point average of 3.7 and the endorsement of their colleges. Eight regional committees around the United States invite finalists to in-person interviews.
The one- to three-year scholarships cover university fees, living expenses, annual book grant, thesis grant, research and daily travel grants, fares to and from the United States, and, where applicable, a contribution towards the support of a dependent spouse.
Richmond’s most recent Marshall Scholar, Katie Weber, won in the 2007 competition and has been studying for a Ph.D. in molecular biology at the University of Cambridge.