Todd Kumler

Todd Kumler

Kumler a Finalist for Marshall Scholarship

March 2, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Senior Todd Kumler was a finalist this academic year for the Marshall Scholarship, which supports talented young Americans who plan to study in the United Kingdom.

The Marshall Scholarship program is intended to provide future leaders with lasting understanding of British society that will strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions.  Of 958 applicants, Kumler was one of 165 selected to interview for the competitive program.

Kumler is an economics and mathematics double major at Illinois Wesleyan with a political science minor.  He is now applying for Ph.D. programs in economic development, planning to become either an academic economist or to work with an international organization such as the United Nations.

Applying for the scholarship "helped me articulate what my career goals and future academic goals are, and to think about how I came to have those goals," Kumler said.  His interest in economic development began while he studied advanced macroeconomics at the London School of Economics in the summer of 2005.

"Economic growth is so important, particularly for developing countries," Kumler said, adding that his experience in the cosmopolitan environment of London helped him realize the importance of economic policies.  Economic development "combines my interests in economics and in trying to help people around me," he said.

A native of Elgin, Ill., Kumler was valedictorian at Larkin High School in 2003.  He was selected in 2006 as a Student Laureate by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, which annually honors students who have brought honor to the state of Illinois by their commitment to the principles of democracy and humanity as exemplified by Abraham Lincoln.

Kumler has been admitted into several collegiate honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi All-Discipline Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta First-Year Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma First-Year Honor Society, Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honor Society and Phi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society.  As a first-year student, he was named an IWU Presidential Scholar.

"Illinois Wesleyan has a lot of unique opportunities," Kumler said, noting that he gained research opportunities beginning in his junior year, and has earned valuable experience as editor of the both the Park Place Economist, which publishes articles by IWU economics students, and the Undergraduate Economic Review, a worldwide online journal.

Also at Illinois Wesleyan, Kumler is president of the Economics Society and co-president of the College Democrats. As the 2005 Student Senate treasurer, Kumler was awarded the Minor Myers, jr. Student Senate Scholarship.

Kumler served as a campaign intern for Barack Obama's U.S. Senate campaign in 2004.  In the summer of 2006, he worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland as a research intern. He joined Illinois Wesleyan faculty and local politicians as a panelist discussing "The Benefits and Costs of a Living Wage in Central Illinois" in a September campus event.

Applicants for the Marshall Scholarship must be nominated by their institutions.  The faculty representative for the Marshall Scholarship program at Illinois Wesleyan is Assistant Professor of English Michael Theune, who in 1992 won a Marshall Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford.

Contact: Ann Aubry, (309) 556-3181