Rhodes Scholar nominees

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Oct. 15, 2014

Mario Gutierrez and David Zoltowski nominated for prestigious international scholarships

Two students in the MSU College of Engineering, Mario Gutierrez and David Zoltowski, have been nominated to be Rhodes Scholars and pursue their graduate studies at prestigious universities in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Gutierrez has also been nominated for the Marshall Scholarship.Mario Gutierrez is nominated for both Rhodes and Marshall scholarships.

Gutierrez is from Powell, Wyo. He graduated from Powell High School and worked alongside his uncle as a migrant farmer since the age of 10. 

“As a first generation Mexican American, raised by an early-widowed mother, I always had a dream to improve my life and the life of others,” he said.

A recipient of the MSU STARR Charitable Foundation Scholarship, Gutierrez has participated as a research assistant on campus and held internships with Dow Chemical Company and General Electric. He is a student representative in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and is active with International Engagement Volunteers.

Gutierrez hopes to study chemical and process engineering.

“As a future researcher, I want to apply my knowledge and my work’s effort toward engineering a more sustainable future,” he said.

Zoltowski hails from West Lafayette, Ind., graduating from West Lafayette High School. He is captain of the MSU Varsity Swimming and Diving team, a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten.

David Zoltowski hopes to advance research on the brain from an engineer's perspective.One of last year’s Goldwater Scholars, Zoltowski has also earned the MSU Honors College National Scholarship, Walter R. Yates Memorial Scholarship and Arthur J. Harris Memorial Scholarship.

Zoltowski is a research assistant, member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu and an Honors Times Two mentor.

His graduate school plans involve studying engineering science.

“My ultimate goal is to become a professor doing research studying the brain from an engineering perspective,” Zoltowski said. “A long-term goal of mine is to apply my analysis techniques to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorder. I draw motivation for this goal from my triplet, autistic brother.”

Both Gutierrez and Zoltowski are members of the Honors College.

The Marshall Commission provides support to approximately 40 of the most outstanding undergraduates in the country to study at any university in the United Kingdom. MSU has produced 16 Marshall Scholars.

The Rhodes Trust is the oldest of the major international competitive award foundations and gives 32 undergraduates the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in England. MSU has produced 16 Rhodes Scholars since 1903.

The National and International Fellowship and Scholarship (NIFS) office at Michigan State University, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students to pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes. The Honors College serves academically talented, committed students who wish to pursue and achieve academic excellence.