Marshall graduates to receive Hazel Ruby McQuain Graduate Scholarship

Updated 1 year ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
Marshall graduates to receive Hazel Ruby McQuain Graduate Scholarship

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two recent Marshall University graduates from the College of Liberal Arts have earned the Hazel Ruby McQuain

Graduate Scholarship, which provides $20,000 annually for up to two years for master’s degree students.


Hannah Smith, who graduated last month with a degree in anthropology, will pursue a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University. Jacob Redman, a 2019 political science graduate from Marshall, will pursue a master’s degree in American foreign policy and national security at American University.


Recipients of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Graduate Scholarship are chosen partly on the basis of demonstrating good moral character and their noteworthy record of public service and active leadership. McQuain was a Morgantown resident and businesswoman who graduated from three West Virginia institutions and took over the presidency of Ruby Enterprises after the death of her father. Later in life, she devoted much of her time to philanthropy and community development and service in the Morgantown area.


Smith, 23, who is from Kenova and the daughter of Todd and Cheryl Smith, earned bachelor’s degrees in both anthropology and biochemistry from Marshall. She hopes to return to West Virginia and work with the government to create sustainable policy changes to better the state’s environment and economy.


“In the classroom, Marshall professors taught me how to think critically and independently,” she said. “Especially in discussion-based classes, professors valued and respected my opinion as a peer. This granted me the confidence I needed to contribute to a wide range of issues and problem-solving dialogues. I was also a resident advisor in Holderby Hall. The experience of interacting with students from a variety of backgrounds increased my interpersonal skills and compassion for people. Combined, my four years inside and outside the classroom at Marshall were the most impactful of my life so far. 


“Huntington will always be home to me because of my time spent at Marshall,” Smith said. “Everything I will study at Duke, I hope to bring back to West Virginia to better my community.”


The honor is well deserved, said Dr. Brian Hoey, a professor of anthropology and associate dean of Marshall’s Honors College.


“I have been grateful for the opportunity to work over the past several years with such an outstanding student of strong character and consummate decency,” Hoey said. “In terms of dedication to her studies and the seriousness with which she approaches her career aspirations as the basis to a life of service to the common good, Hannah has distinguished herself estimably. The McQuain Graduate Scholarship appears tailor made for her. Hannah is a secure investment and one that I am sure will pay significant dividends for the well-being of West Virginians.”


Redman earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in May. The son of Debbie and Mark Redman of Cross Lanes, he chose American University because it has been a dream of his because of its prestige and record of service, and because it’s a top 10 school in international affairs.


“My time at Marshall is time I will forever cherish, and I credit the political science department faculty for all of my success,” Redman said. “They have been indispensable to my academic and career advancement.


“International relations has been my deep-seated passion for years now because world politics and the shaping of it is the pursuit of alleviating human suffering and the advancement of human rights and dignity for all, no matter where they live,” he said. “Given West Virginia’s strain, I believe we can learn a lot from the world in order to implement sound policy and best practices that improve the lives of our citizens. This is what I seek to premise my life’s objective on. Policy making is my passion and what I intend to pursue upon graduation from my program.” 


Shawn Schulenberg, chairman of the Department of Political Science, not only taught Redman in class but worked together with him in Redman’s position as president of the local chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha.


“Jacob is an outstanding student — he consistently surpassed my expectations in each course he took with me, and I would place him within the top 10% of the students whom I have taught at Marshall University,” Schulenberg said. “Each student has their own strengths, but the one that sticks out to me the most in Jacob is his intellectual curiosity. I can honestly say that he wrestles with the search for truth more than any other student I’ve taught in my career (no hyperbole here), which is one of the most important character traits to have as an academic. As an undergraduate, he was already regularly reading a variety of academic journals and key international newspapers for fun. He loves it.”

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