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Senior Biology Major is Mount’s First Semi-Finalist for Marshall Scholarship

Communications Staff

Dylan Holden, C’18, has been named as a semi-finalist for the Marshall Scholarship, the final round of selection for this prestigious award. Holden is the first Marshall Scholarship semi-finalist in Mount St. Mary’s University history.

dylan-holden-300.jpgHolden, a biology major with minors in philosophy and chemistry as well as the founder of a nonprofit foundation to address the opioid epidemic, will interview on November 13 at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. If selected, he will be fully funded to pursue two years of study in the United Kingdom for graduate school. His first year would be spent obtaining a master’s of philosophy (MPhil) in public health at the University of Cambridge. In his second year he would complete a master’s of research in biological sciences (neuroscience and mental health) at the University of Manchester. Following his time in the U.K., Dylan plans to pursue his medical degree.

“It is a high honor to be shortlisted for the Marshall Scholarship,” said Jamie Gianoutsos, Ph.D., assistant professor of history and director of the Office of Competitive Fellowships. “Last year, 159 applicants were selected to interview from 946 applications (16.8 percent success rate). Following the interview, 41 Marshall winners will be chosen.”

“I am excited and honored to be named a Marshall semi-finalist, and I am deeply grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way, including Professors Garth Patterson, Thane Naberhaus, Richard Buck, Susan Mertins, Rosina Bolen, and Jamie Gianoutsos as well as Interim Provost Jennie Hunter-Cevera,” Holden said. “I look forward to meeting with the Marshall Scholarship selection committee.” Holden’s advisors and mentors will be helping him prepare for the interview over the next two weeks.

“This is a great credit to Dylan’s hard work over the years, and to the faculty supporting him in this process,” said President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.  “The Mount’s faculty, administrators, staff and students will all be thinking of Dylan and praying for his continued success.”

Holden, a first-generation college student, is a leader at Mount St. Mary’s, serving as a student teaching assistant in general biology and general chemistry and a certified peer tutor through the Learning Services department as well as founder of the Mount’s weightlifting club and cofounder of the coffee brewing club. He has won the university’s Della Ratta Award, given to the student who displays the highest capabilities in sciences, liberal arts and moral character; the Reverend Carl Fives Scholarship for excellence in academic coursework and contributions to the local community; and the Cambridge Pembroke-King’s Scholarship to study abroad at University of Cambridge for a summer term.

In addition, Holden is a researcher in the laboratory of Assistant Professor of Chemistry Garth Patterson, Ph.D., working on developing instrumentation to assist in the collection of vapor phase samples for analysis by mass spectrometry. Through an independent research course this semester under the direction of Assistant Professor Susan Mertins, Ph.D., Holden is conducting a drug screen for cancer stem cells using a unique model.

Holden is a leader outside the university as well. Following the loss of several high school classmates to the opioid epidemic, Holden this year founded the Archer Addiction Foundation, a nonprofit organization charged with raising awareness about drug and substance abuse in Franklin and Fulton County, Pennsylvania, and donating money to local counseling centers for substance abuse therapy. Holden also volunteers as a nursing assistant at Waynesboro Hospital Physical Medicine and Wound Care.

The Marshall Scholarship, named after former Army Chief of Staff and Secretary of State Gen. George C. Marshall, provides an opportunity to study at any university in the United Kingdom to 41 of the most outstanding undergraduate students. The award places emphases on academic merit and the potential of the student becoming a world leader or ambassador.

Communications Staff