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Mitman Tapped as Marshall Scholar: McLean Student to Pursue Master’s in Physics

Kurt Elliott MitmanNovember 26, 2003

By Matt Kelly

Fourth-year student Kurt Elliott Mitman will pursue a master’s degree in physics at Oxford University in Oxford, England, for the next two years, after being named U.Va’s sixth Marshall Scholar.

“I was so ecstatic, I yelled out loud in University Hall,” Mitman, 21, said after being told he had won. “This is an affirmation of four years of academic work and research.”

Mitman, from McLean, spent his third year studying natural sciences at Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge, England. He is a Harrison Award winner, Goldwater Scholar, Lawn resident, Echols Scholar and member of the University Guides. He is also involved in the International Relations Organization at U.Va.

In addition, Mitman has done research in the fields of neuroscience, economics and physics, and he has three publications in circulation.

“It is a high academic honor to be a part of this community of scholars,” Mitman said. “This is an incredible opportunity.”

Mitman’s eventual goal is to earn a Ph.D. in physics, and while he enjoys research, he said he wants to be a teacher.

“We are thrilled to have Kurt win a Marshall Scholarship,” said Nicole Hurd, assistant dean and director of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence. “He has done extraordinary work both inside the classroom and with the larger community.

For more information on U.Va.’s Marshall scholars process, visit:

For more information on the Marshall Scholarship, visit:

Whether it is his research with the Harrison award or his leadership with the International Relations Organization, his commitment to learning and sharing knowledge is inspiring.”

Mitman was born at the U.Va. Medical Center while his parents were graduate students at the University. They both work for the State Department now.

Each year, hundreds of America’s brightest students compete for the up to 40 awards given annually by the Marshall Scholarship committee. The scholarship funds two years of study at any university in the United Kingdom.

The Marshall Scholarship, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is funded by the British government in honor of U.S. General George C. Marshall, who crafted the plan to rebuild Europe after World War II. William Gwym won U.Va.’s first Marshall Scholarship in 1954, soon after the program’s inception.

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