Auburn graduate Ashton Richardson named Marshall Scholar, one of 40 in United States

Published: November 13, 2014
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University graduate Ashton Richardson has been named a recipient of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, becoming one of only 40 students in the United States selected for the honor, which enables them to attend their choice of university in the United Kingdom.

"Ashton Richardson is an exemplar of the student athlete who through dedication to his academic studies and his hard work on the field has brought much credit to himself, his family, and Auburn University. We couldn't be happier for Ashton and we know that the world is a better place because this young man is a Marshall Scholar," said Melissa Baumann, Auburn University assistant provost and director of the Honors College.

New Orleans native Richardson is a December 2012 summa cum laude graduate in the College of Agriculture with a major in animal sciences (pre-veterinary medicine). His many achievements include the W. James Samford Foundation President's Award; the 2013 Fellowship of Christian Athletes Bobby Bowden Award; the Cliff Hare Award which is awarded to Auburn's top male scholar athlete; the Auburn University Male Scholar Athlete for academic year 2012-2013; and Auburn's nominee for the S.E.C. H. Boyd McWhorter Award in spring 2013. A four-year letterman and linebacker for the Auburn Tigers, Ashton conducted undergraduate research under the direction of Reid Hanson, professor of veterinary medicine examining articular cartilage thickness in cadaveric equine limbs.

Currently, Ashton is in his second year at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine where he serves as the president of the One Health Association which explores the connections between human, animal and environmental health. He is also a member of the Texas Veterinary Medicine Foundation Board of Trustees.

"I am looking forward to pursuing graduate studies in international development at The University of Sheffield as a Marshall Scholar," Richardson said. "This program allows for a more in-depth, interdisciplinary understanding of environmental, economic and social development, all of which are essential to sustainable agricultural systems."

"I am extremely grateful to all my professors, coaches, mentors and the Honors College staff who have supported me unconditionally throughout my time at Auburn and who challenged me to take intellectual risks."

Richardson recently returned from a summer service and research experience in Nicaragua where, as a member of One Health, he joined a six member team of veterinary, medical and public health students investigating the health disparities of humans and animals. In addition to his work abroad, Richardson has also conducted a hunger study with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and served as a mentor to youth at the Lee County (Alabama) Youth Development Center.

"Ashton was the kind of student a teacher will always remember," said Dale Coleman, associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences. "You remember his character and his commitment to everything he did. You remember his personal devotion to learning simply for the sake of learning. Much like we talk about the Auburn Family being 'all in' when we support athletics, Ashton was always 'all in' in the classroom."

"Ashton simply bowls you over with his warmth, intelligence, kindness and humility," said Paul Harris, associate director for national prestigious scholarships in the Honors College. "He is the sort of young man that any set of parents would be totally proud, wondering how they could have possibly produced and raised such a remarkably kind and noble individual."

The Marshall Scholarship program was established in 1953 by an act of British Parliament in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall as an expression of Britain's gratitude for economic assistance received through the Marshall Plan after World War II. The program is overseen by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission. Approximately 900 students are endorsed annually for the scholarship by their respective universities, for which 40 scholarships are awarded nationwide.

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