Vanderbilt engineering student receives Marshall Scholarship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — David Brogan, a Vanderbilt biomedical engineering senior who combines his studies with cross-country competition and community involvement, has been chosen to receive one of the prestigious Marshall Scholarships.

Brogan is one of 40 U.S. students chosen this year to participate in the British government-financed scholarship program established in 1953 as a way of thanking the United States for its assistance after World War II. The highly competitive scholarships provide an opportunity for American students who have demonstrated academic excellence to continue their studies for two to three years at the British university of their choice. The scholarships are worth about $60,000 each.

Brogan plans to use his scholarship to pursue a master of philosophy at either Kings College of London or Oxford University. He hopes eventually to become a physician and to explore combining medical imaging techniques with surgical practice to develop innovative methods of treatment.

Brogan credits the work that he has done with Professor of Biomedical Engineering Robert Galloway with focusing his interest on image-guided surgery. “Vanderbilt is one of the leaders in the field,” he said.

The Marshall Scholarship affords him the opportunity to continue and enhance his research in a unique setting while receiving a great new perspective, he said. After completing his studies in England, Brogan said he will return to the United States for medical school.

“This is a wonderful accomplishment for David, who represents the best of what Vanderbilt has to offer — a full and rewarding experience both within and outside the classroom,” said Chancellor Gordon Gee. “This honor is a reflection of his hard work and dedication as well as the influence of his professors, teachers and mentors.”

About 800 college students apply each year for the Marshall Scholarships, which are awarded on the basis of academic distinction and leadership potential.
Past recipients include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer; Duke University President Nannerl Keohane; Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Tom Friedman of the New York Times and Dan Yergin, author of The Prize; and noted inventor Ray Dolby.

A letterman on Vanderbilt’s Cross Country Team and a member of the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll, Brogan is also a published scholar, having written a paper on “Progress Toward Automation of Biological Electron Microscopy” for the National Cancer Institute, where he worked as an intern last summer. He is coauthor of another NCI paper currently being developed.

He is treasurer of the Biomedical Engineering Society and past president of the Engineering Council, the governing body of the undergraduate engineering college.

"The Vanderbilt Engineering faculty are extremely proud of David Brogan’s accomplishment in winning this prestigious scholarship,” said School of Engineering Dean Ken Galloway. “David’s dedication to the highest standards of academic excellence, leadership, community service and his engineering discipline have been exemplary in his time at Vanderbilt. He represents our superb School of Engineering student body very well."

Among his favorite experiences, Brogan counts his work at local elementary schools to demonstrate entertaining science experiments for fifth- and sixth-graders as part of Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science. Through the YMCA Urban Services Mentoring Program, he spent a year helping tutor inner city school students for two hours each night, four nights a week. He also participated in Alternative Spring Break and Vanderbilt Kids Zone, a program that promotes student athlete interaction with school children, and he volunteers at Warm Springs Rehabilitation Institute.

The son of Mary and John Brogan of San Antonio, Texas, Brogan graduated first in his class at Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio in May 1999, and attends Vanderbilt on full scholarship. A National Merit Scholar and Eagle Scout, he has been on the Dean’s List every semester at Vanderbilt. He is the recipient of a Tau Beta Pi Scholarship, Robert Byrd Honor Scholarship, Harrawood Engineering Honor’s Scholarship and a Nashville Engineer’s Association Scholarship.

Media contact: Elizabeth Latt,, 615-322-NEWS

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