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Hendrix Senior Receives Marshall Scholarship

Sean Alexander Marshall Scholar - 20151123 - 15474427CONWAY, Ark. (November 23, 2015) – Hendrix College senior Sean Alexander has received a prestigious Marshall Scholarship.

As a Marshall Scholar, Alexander, a politics major from Little Rock, will pursue a master’s degree in Food Security and Development at the University of Reading and a master’s degree in Comparative Social Policy at Oxford University.

“I am thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to study in the United Kingdom as a Marshall Scholar,” said Alexander. “I am grateful to the British government and people and to the Marshall Commission, who have placed an incredible amount of trust in my life and academic potential. I am excited for the opportunities that the Marshall Scholarship will bring and what my life will hold as a result of this educational experience.”

An active student leader at Hendrix and sixth-generation Arkansan, Alexander has worked with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and is especially interested in rural food insecurity and economic development in post-industrialized nations.

“My internship at Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance through the Hendrix Odyssey Program during the summer after my freshman year changed my life,” said Alexander. “Because of that opportunity, I visited most Arkansas counties to work with local food pantries and got really interested in the issue of rural hunger. I had profound and deeply moving experiences and many face-to-face encounters in rural areas, which changed my perspective profoundly.”

As an Arkansas Public Policy Fellow this summer, Alexander conducted research at the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, which will be presented in the forthcoming report, “Hope in the Hills: how increased resources and community togetherness will feed hungry children in the Arkansas Ozarks.”

“I don’t think I would have been nearly as competitive in this process had I not gone to Hendrix,” Alexander said. “Since I first stepped foot on campus, I’ve been able to take risks and grow in a way that was incredibly productive for me and allowed me to discern what I wanted to do.”

Alexander’s research interests center on psychosocial stresses – shame, embarrassment, or hopelessness – and their effects on hunger relief program participation and rural economic development in the United States.

“I am grateful for the support of some incredible professors who catalyzed and focused my interests and connected me with the resources I need,” he said. “Their support has really made a lasting impact on me.”

After completing his postgraduate studies, Alexander will establish a rural policy think-tank to develop globally-inspired policies to combat rural hunger and poverty.

“We are so proud of Sean for receiving this incredible and richly deserved honor,” said Hendrix President Bill Tsutsui, who is a former Marshall Scholar. “His accomplishment is an affirmation of the value of a broad and rigorous liberal arts education and opportunities for engaged learning experiences like internships and research that we support so strongly at Hendrix. Most importantly, this is a testament to our faculty who challenge and mentor students so that they discover their greatest potential.”

Alexander is the son of Peter and Kris Alexander (Hendrix Class of ’87) and a graduate of eStem Charter School in Little Rock.

About the Marshall Scholarship

Founded in Great Britain by a 1953 Act of Parliament, Marshall Scholarships are mainly funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan. They express the continuing gratitude of the British people to their American counterparts. Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to 40 Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study. As future leaders, with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions. Marshall Scholars are talented, independent and wide-ranging, and their time as Scholars enhances their intellectual and personal growth. Their direct engagement with Britain through its best academic programs contributes to their ultimate personal success.  Learn more

About Hendrix College

Hendrix College is a private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1876 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884, Hendrix is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges and is nationally recognized in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings for academic quality, community, innovation, and value. For more information, visit