Alex Fullman, a senior majoring in political science, was sitting in photography class when he received news that would change his life.
“We were reviewing photos that day, and I have to admit that day I wasn’t paying very much attention to what was being said in class,” Fullman said. “Right when we were talking about my photos, that’s when they called me. It was terrible luck.”
Most would probably disagree, since the phone call Fullman received that day was to inform him that he had been awarded the Marshall Scholarship, a grant for American undergraduate students to pursue a graduate degree in the United Kingdom.
Fullman, who will attend the University of Oxford in London next year, found out about the scholarship through the Office of Academic & International Fellowships. The staff at the office helped him with the process of getting endorsed by the university and submitting an application. Once Fullman was selected as a finalist, he completed an interview with the British Consulate. Less than a week later, on Nov. 13, Fullman found out he was a recipient.
“I don’t know that [attending graduate school in the United Kingdom] is something I would have done without the Marshall Scholarship,” Fullman said. “The opportunity to study at Oxford, which is really one of the world’s great universities, is extraordinary.”
The Marshall Scholarship was created by a 1953 act of the British Parliament in honor of United States Secretary of State George C. Marshall and his Marshall Plan, which helped rebuild Western Europe after World War II. The scholarship funds up to 40 high-achieving American students to study in the United Kingdom at the graduate level.
Fullman plans to pursue a master’s degree in philosophy in comparative government. He plans to focus his studies on campaign finance, a topic he also researched during his time as an undergraduate at USC.
“At Oxford, I’m hoping to take a comparative approach to campaign finance to see if different campaign finance systems have different impacts on various metrics, such as an anti-corruption and participation in government,” Fullman said.
Fullman, who has been to London three times, said he wanted to study in England because it is one of his favorite countries. He said that he’s most looking forward to immersing himself in university life, learning more about British culture and meeting his new classmates and the other scholarship recipients.
At USC, Fullman is the editor in chief of the USC Journal of Law and Society, president of the Blackstonians Pre-Law Honor Society, vice president for student life at USC Hillel and a student worker in the Office of the Provost.
After attaining his master’s degree, Fullman hopes to attend law school. Fullman said that his inspiration for studying law and government stems from his desire to contribute to equal rights.
“For me, equality is one of the great virtues of our society,” Fullman said. “Equality is one of the things that tie together a lot of the works that I’ve done. I hope to ultimately be in a position to promote equality, and I hope that studying at Oxford will set me on that path.”