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Three Cornell students win prestigious Marshall scholarships for 1997-98

For the second year in a row, three students from Cornell University are among a select few Americans who have been chosen for the British Marshall Scholarship.

The students, from various fields of study at the university, are Daniel Klein, a senior College Scholar with emphases in math, computer science and linguistics; Jeremy Lack, a senior in industrial and labor relations with an emphasis in biology; and Jeffrey Tompkins, a 1997 graduate in government.

"The distinguished fellowships earned by these fine students prove that hard work and dedicated scholarship have their rewards," said Cornell President Hunter Rawlings. "I would add that these honors are also the result of the guidance and long hours of support of many of our faculty and staff members."

Up to 40 Marshall Scholarships are awarded in the United States each year from more than 800 applicants. Recipients are given two years of study at a university in the United Kingdom.

Daniel L. Klein from Pittsburgh, Pa., already has received several academic honors, including a Goldwater Scholarship, a Beinecke Brothers Memorial Fellowship, a Linguistic Society of America Fellowship and a Cornell Dean's Undergraduate Research Grant. He also is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and is a Cornell Tradition Fellow.

Klein says he is aiming toward a career in academia and wants to be a research professor in computer science. His interests include developing computer systems that can understand and process natural human language. Toward this end, he has done undergraduate research at Cornell with Ronitt Rubinfeld and Claire Cardie, both assistant professors in computer science, and Carol Rosen, professor of modern languages, and also computer research with Merrick Furst of Carnegie Mellon University.

Through his Marshall Scholarship, he will be attending Oxford University beginning in the fall of 1998 and will work toward a postgraduate degree in linguistics. After that, he said, he plans to continue postgraduate study in computer science.

Klein's extracurricular activities include being a Math Support Center tutor, a Shito-Ryu karate teacher and president of the Shito-Ryu Karate Club. He also is a member of the Cornell Ballroom Dance Team and a ballroom dance class instructor. He plans to pursue both karate and ballroom dancing at Oxford.

"Both karate and ballroom dancing are very similar, as both look at what your body is doing and how to perfect the technique or perfect the control of your body," Klein said. "With this kind of athletic activity, you have your mind in control of your body and not the other way around."

In addition to his academic and other activities, Klein has performed extensive volunteer work for groups in the Ithaca area through the Cornell Tradition program, including the Cayuga Nature Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Ithaca Sciencenter and the Ithaca Community Childcare Center.

Jeremy Lack of East Northport, N.Y., is on the Dean's List in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), is an ILR Dean Scholar and was a finalist this year for the Rhodes Scholarship. Lack is believed to be the first Marshall Scholar in the 51-year history of the ILR School.

As an undergraduate, Lack has combined his study of industrial and labor relations with biology. His research pursuits at Cornell all have focused on economics and biology, and he has taken on research projects in the Department of Pharmacology at the College of Veterinary Medicine with Professor Robert Oswald and with the Cornell Center for Advanced Technology in Biotechnology. He wrote his senior honors thesis on "The Changing Roles of Postdoctorates Within Bioscience Research Structure."

Lack will enroll in Oxford University in the fall and pursue a doctoral degree in biochemistry.

"Business seems to be interacting with science more and more each day, and there is much good that can come from this partnership," he said.

Lack has been active in a number extracurricular activities on and off campus, including as a member of the Faculty Committee on Academic Programs and Policies and the Cornell Judicial Hearing Board. He also was a group leader for Into the Streets, a program of the Cornell Public Service Center.

An accomplished athlete, as well, Lack was captain of the Cornell fencing team and the foil squad.

Jeffrey Tompkins of Miami Shores, Fla., graduated magna cum laude in government from Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences in May of this year.

His academic focus has been international relations, and his senior honors thesis was on "U.S. Bargaining Strategies with Japan and the Interplay Between Domestic and International Politics." During his junior year at Cornell-in-Washington, his thesis was on U.S. trade policy and multilateral organizations, and he completed an internship at the White House.

Tompkins has been a varsity member and director of Project Speak-out, a community service of the Cornell Forensics Society, the university's speech and debate team, and he was national vice president of the Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha Speech and Debate Honor Society. As a senior he won a national championship for extemporaneous speaking, and during the Cornell-British Debates, his two-person team was chosen the winner of a competition with the touring team from Great Britain.

His other honors include membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and the Golden Key national honor societies, a Kiggins and Tanner Scholarship for academic excellence in the social sciences, and a Scheffler Family Foundation Scholarship for public service.

Tompkins also is president of the Cornell Unified Rowing Club and is its director of communications and its Web page and electronic media communications administrator, and he is a member of the Cascadilla Boat Club's men's crew team.

He will attend Oxford University in the master of philosophy program in international relations.

"I'd like to continue work there related to my honors thesis," he said. He also plans to continue to pursue crew, forensics and Web site administration, through the Oxford Union.

Tompkins currently is working for Cornell's Department of Communication as a teaching assistant and with the Cornell Forensics Society as the director of the Rhetorical Scholars Laboratory Program.

The Marshall Scholarship was founded in 1953 to commemorate the humane ideals of the European Recovery Program (the Marshall Plan). It is funded by the British government.

Of the 15 students Cornell endorsed for application for the Marshall Scholarship this year, six were invited to regional interviews -- the best showing by Cornell ever. The previous best had been last year, when four out of 12 were invited to the regionals, and three students were chosen for the award.

This year's selection brings to 24 the number of Cornell students chosen for Marshall Scholarships since 1961.

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