Jackson Foster has a passion for people. The 2022 Marshall Scholarship winner decided to become a history major because of his profound interest in the complexities of people and their relationships to each other. Foster explained, “I care deeply about the communities, institutions, and relationships that structured and enriched their daily lives, the ways they succeeded – and failed – in navigating periods of profound change.” He hopes to use this knowledge of our histories to “create a more humane, just, and equal ‘now’.”
Foster’s study of history has cultivated his ability to consider complicated issues from a variety of angles while uncovering how structural factors like law and government affected the people “on the ground” and their day-to-day lives.
With this broad exposure to different thinkers, methods, and theoretical frameworks, Foster is prepared to “dissect a set of circumstances, comprehend them, and then piece them back together in a clear and nuanced argument.” He plans to put these skills to good use in the U.K., where he will study for an MA in early modern British history.
Though Foster’s award is completely due to his own hard work and accomplishments, he credits Drs. Lucy Kaufman and Margaret Peacock for their advice and guidance. He said, “Without the History Department and all the faculty therein, I would lack the opportunities, skills, and character befitting of a Marshall scholar.”
The Marshall Scholarship is one of the most prestigious awards in the nation. Only 41 students were chosen from around 1,000 applications. Funded primarily by the British government, the program supports graduate study in Britain for US students and is named in honor of George C. Marshall, the five-star General of the Army, commander of allied forces in Europe during World War II and architect of postwar Europe’s economic reconstruction with the Marshall Plan.
Previous winners include six Pulitzer Prize winners, 14 MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ Fellows, a director of the CIA, the founder of LinkedIn, numerous university presidents and deans, and two of the current Justices of the Supreme Court.