Michigan State University double-major earns nationally competitive graduate school scholarship

April 14, 2015

Michigan State University junior Joshua Schnell has been awarded the nationally competitive Beinecke Scholarship, which pays for graduate studies in the arts, humanities and social sciences.


Schnell is an Honors College junior majoring in anthropology in the College of Social Science and religious studies in the College of Arts and Letters. 

He will receive $4,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school. He plans to earn a doctoral degree in bioarcheology or Mesoamerican archaeology.

Schnell is MSU’s 2nd Beinecke Scholar since 2011, which is when the university was invited to be a nominating institution. 

“Being awarded a Beinecke Scholarship means more to me than I could hope to put into words,” Schnell said. “This award not only allows me to continue my education and to help make changes in the world, but the funding security that accompanies it will allow me greater freedom in applying to and selecting a graduate program.

“This scholarship will ensure that I find the perfect fit in a program that will provide opportunities, challenge me, and foster academic, professional, and personal growth. I am proud to be named a 2015 Beinecke Scholar.”

Schnell hails from Howell, Michigan, having graduated from Howell High School.

While at MSU, Schnell has served as a research assistant to multiple professors. He currently works for Associate Professor Gabriel Wrobel completing three-dimensional (3D) cranial skeleton comparisons, and for Professor Lynne Goldstein performing ritual landscape analysis of Mississippian villages. Additionally, he’s worked with Associate Professor Amy DeRogatis on her Religious Soundmap Project.

He has participated in the University Undergraduate Research & Arts Forum (UURAF) and produced 20 original maps and figures for Professor Kenneth Lewis’ upcoming book.

“Joshua is an outstanding student who has made the most of his time in the classroom and conducting research with faculty across campus,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the MSU Honors College. “We are proud of his accomplishments at Michigan State University and congratulate him on earning this major award.”

In addition to his classroom and research activities, Schnell is involved in the Campus Archaeology Program, Meta-Religious Inquirer’s Club of MSU, the MSU Undergraduate Anthropology Club and the MSU Paranormal Society.

At MSU, Schnell has been the recipient of the Cole Excellence Award from the Honors College, the Honors College Alumni Association Scholarship, the Charles Hayden Kelly Scholarship from the College of Social Science, and the Samuel Jay Hartt Award from the College of Arts and Letters.

The Beinecke Scholarship Program was established in 1971 by the Board of Directors of The Sperry and Hutchinson Company to honor Edwin, Frederick, and Walter Beinecke. The Board created an endowment to provide substantial scholarships for the graduate education of young men and women of exceptional promise. The program seeks to encourage and enable highly motivated students to pursue opportunities available to them and to be courageous in the selection of a graduate course of study in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

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.