UND’s first Marshall Scholarship recipient to study in England
Sydney Menne, a senior who is double-majoring in physics and math, will be pursuing a master's in propulsion and engine systems engineering at the University of Southampton this fall.
GRAND FORKS – As UND’s first ever Marshall Scholarship recipient prepares to begin her graduate studies, she said the opportunity to study propulsion at a renowned university — a subject that's not offered at UND — excites her.
Sydney Menne, a senior double majoring in physics and mathematics, will be attending the University of Southampton in Southampton, England, in late September to pursue a master’s degree in propulsion and engine systems engineering. According to a press release from UND, Menne is one of 40 students nationwide awarded the scholarship, out of a pool of 951 applicants.
Menne chose to study at the University of Southampton due to its reputation in the field of propulsion. According to Menne, the one-year master’s program is a mix of in-class learning and hands-on research.
“They do a lot of work in space propulsion, and there’s a particular professor there I really want to work with,” Menne said. “It was nice to have a program specifically for propulsion. Not a lot of schools have that — they had a lot of general aerospace engineering. I also wasn’t sure if I wanted to study aircraft or rocket propulsion, and this program lets you study both.”
The Marshall Scholarship is named in honor of former U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, whose diplomacy helped create the Marshall Plan, an initiative that provided foreign aid to western European nations following World War II. Since its inception in 1953, the scholarship finances graduate study for up to 50 American students annually, at universities of their choice across the United Kingdom
Prominent past scholarship recipients include Nobel Prize winners, governors and U.S. Supreme Court justices.
Menne said the application and interview process was extensive. In addition to writing essays, and receiving recommendations from professors and UND President Andrew Armacost, she said the final 30-minute interview with the scholarship committee was demanding.
“They ask you pretty tough questions — I don’t think I was expecting a single one they asked,” Menne said. “It was all very thought-provoking things I hadn’t really thought about before. They called the next day, though, and said I had gotten it.”
Speaking via a UND press release announcing Menne’s recognition, Armacost praised her level of scholarship.
“Earning this scholarship is an extraordinary accomplishment for Sydney when you consider the remarkable group of people Marshall Scholars encompass and the impact they’ve had on the world,” he said. “She is truly an exceptional scholar and leader and so deserving of this honor and recognition.”
Menne, who will be visiting the U.K. for the first time when she arrives, said she is looking forward to the experience of living abroad.
“I think it will be really cool to live in another country, see the cultural differences, and be able to travel around a lot to Europe really easily,” Menne said. “Having the experience of living in another country is something I’ve always wanted to do.”