WSU alumna interviews as Marshall Scholarship finalist

Roxanne-Reese-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University alumna Roxanne Reese has made it to the final round of the Marshall Scholarship selection process and will travel Nov. 13 for a personal interview at the British Consulate-General in San Francisco. She is a Seattle native and resident.

“The entire WSU community is very pleased that Roxanne is but one step away from becoming the first WSU graduate to receive a Marshall Scholarship,” said Mary F. Wack, WSU vice provost for undergraduate education. “She is an accomplished scholar with well-defined career goals and she will be an excellent representative of our university and nation.”

The Marshall is one of a set of prestigious awards commonly known as “distinguished scholarships.” It was established in 1953 by the United Kingdom Parliament to provide funding for up to 40 exceptional American students each year who seek to pursue graduate education in the U.K.

Distinguished, hardworking scholar

Reese is interested in using the two-year scholarship to earn master’s degrees in criminology and political science at the University of Cambridge and to become involved with the Centre for Penal Theory and Penal Ethics in Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology.

“Getting to the interview stage for the Marshall is one of the best accomplishments so far in my life,” she said. “The application process has been very rigorous and made me evaluate my goals and think about who I am. Having recently graduated, it’s challenging to think in terms of how I, as a Marshall Scholar, would contribute in the future to the U.S.-U.K. relationship and be a global leader – but it’s also very exciting!”

Reese held a WSU Distinguished Regents Scholarship throughout her undergraduate program. She graduated with honors in May 2012 with bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and political science, minors in ethics and criminal justice and a certificate of completion from the WSU Honors College. She credits her Honors thesis work with fostering a rich intellectual experience; receiving best-student awards in philosophy was “validating,” she said.

Fulfilling her vocation

According to her Marshall application, her personal goal is to be “a truly good person” and to always seek ways to better herself and the world around her.

Since childhood, her career goal is to become a lawyer and practice in America’s Pacific Northwest. Not just a lawyer, but a prosecutor.

“That’s not what I should be, but who I should be,” she wrote. She plans to seek punishment for crimes committed, but also to help find ways to “reduce the instances of it.”

Sarah Ann Hones, director of the WSU Office of Distinguished Scholarships, has consulted with Reese since she was a student and throughout the application process.

“It is a pleasure to support such an outstanding person and alumna as Roxanne. WSU can be very proud that she has been selected to interview for the Marshall Scholarship.”

Reese is the daughter of Betty Kuhnau and is an employee of Selland Auto Transport in Seattle. She earned a 4.0 grade point average (out of 4.0) both at WSU and at Kentwood High School in Covington, Wash., where she graduated as valedictorian.

Celebrating top awards

The Office of Distinguished Scholarships – part of the Office of Undergraduate Education – works with WSU students as they prepare to apply for distinguished scholarships. This fall, the focus is on Rhodes, Mitchell, Marshall, Gates-Cambridge and Fulbright awards; in spring the Borens, Truman and Goldwater scholarships are among those that are top of mind.

WSU’s past recipients of distinguished scholarships will be featured on a wall display located between the CUB and the libraries. It is expected to be completed and opened to the public this spring.

For more information on distinguished scholars and the WSU program, visit




Sarah Ann Hones, WSU Office of Distinguished Scholarships, 509-335-8239,

Beverly Makhani, WSU Office of Undergraduate Education communications, 509-335-6679,