MSU Honors College student wins prestigious Churchill Scholarship

January 20, 2015

Michigan State University Honors College member David Zoltowski is one of 14 students nationwide to be awarded a Churchill Scholarship.  


Established in 1959, the Winston Churchill Foundation’s Scholarship Program offers 14 American students of exceptional ability and outstanding achievement the opportunity to pursue graduate degrees in engineering, mathematics, or the sciences in Churchill College at the University of Cambridge in England. 

Ninety applications from 59 institutions were received for the 2015-2016 Churchill Scholarship Program, including 19 public universities, 24 private universities, 15 liberal arts colleges and one service academy.

Within those applications, 26 were for a Master of Advanced Study (MASt) and 64 for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil). Zoltowski will pursue a Master of Philosophy in information engineering at the University of Cambridge.

He is MSU’s 17th Churchill Scholar.

The applicant group included 35 women and 55 men.  The average GPA of the group is 4.129.  Zoltowski has a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.

“Congratulations to David for being named a Churchill Scholar,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the MSU Honors College. “David is determined to create, lead and catalyze change in engineering. He aims to achieve a better outcome for as many individuals as possible. He truly wants to contribute to the study of the brain and make significant advances in autism from an engineering perspective, which is a topic near and dear to him given that his triplet brother has autism.”

Zoltowski is a senior majoring in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering. One of last year’s Goldwater Scholars, Zoltowski hails from West Lafayette, Indiana, graduating from West Lafayette High School. He is captain of the MSU Varsity Swimming and Diving team, a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten.

He is a research assistant to Professor Selin Aviyente in the Communications and Signal Processing Lab, a member of MSU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu and an Honors Times Two mentor.

“I am honored to be named a Churchill Scholar and look forward to making the most of my experience at Cambridge in all areas of life,” Zoltowski said. “I want to thank all members of the MSU community who have supported me in my endeavors.”

Zoltowski is also the recipient of the MSU Honors College National Scholarship, Walter R. Yates Memorial Scholarship and Arthur J. Harris Memorial Scholarship.

The National and International Fellowship and Scholarship (NIFS) office at Michigan State University, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students to pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes. The Honors College serves academically talented, committed students who wish to pursue and achieve academic excellence.