Craig Pearson and Kristin McCool chosen as the 2014 recipients of the Richard Lee Featherstone Endowed Prize.

Craig Pearson, of Bloomfield Township, Mich., a triple major (neuroscience, biochemistry and molecular biology, and English) in the Colleges of Natural Science and Arts and Letters, as well as the Honors College, and Kristin McCool, of St. Johns, Mich., a senior in the College of Arts and Letters were recently chosen as the 2014 recipients of the Richard Lee Featherstone Endowed Prize.


“Winning the Featherstone Prize will grant me the freedom to engage in travel and creative pursuits this summer before I leave for England to begin my doctoral work at the University of Cambridge,” Pearson said. “It is, first and foremost, a humbling recognition of the vast number of opportunities I have had as an undergraduate at MSU. I consider this prize a reflection on all of my mentors and colleagues who have pushed me to achieve my full potential. The award joins me with a rich tradition of scholarship and innovation at MSU, and I am eager to carry that tradition forward into my future studies. This summer, I plan to continue with the research I started as an undergraduate at MSU, in addition to managing Exceptions, the art and literary journal for students with visual disabilities, which I founded last summer.”


This $2,000 prize seeks to identify the most outstanding graduating senior and to grant an award, without limit or bounds, to be used for future growth and development, travel, graduate study, or meditation.


“I believe winning the Richard L. Featherstone Prize represents my passion for learning and my desire to impact the lives of others,” McCool said. “Various leadership and teaching roles have afforded me invaluable opportunities in helping to shape the MSU community. I remain fervent in my effort to promote cross-cultural exchange especially between the United States and China. As a recipient, I am committed to following Dr. Featherstone’s example through my selfless dedication in my future career as a university professor.”


The prize was created in 1986 by a group of MSU College of Education alumni to celebrate Dr. Featherstone’s life and contributions to scholarship, research and leadership. The award recipient must be an MSU senior who exhibits an open, curious, creative approach to education and ideas, as well as intellectual ingenuity. Additionally, the award recipient must demonstrate exceptional character and leadership in enriching the lives of others and a commitment to community service and lifelong learning.


“This prize is truly unique amongst other prizes and scholarships MSU students can apply for,” Douglas W. Estry, associate provost for Undergraduate Education and dean of Undergraduate Studies, said. “While most prizes and scholarships focus on grade point average, this award is dedicated to finding students who demonstrate exceptional character and leadership in enriching the lives of others and a commitment to community service and lifelong learning.”


The winners of the Richard Lee Featherstone Endowed Prize were announced during a luncheon on April 22, 2014 at the University Club of Michigan State University.  Photos of the luncheon can be viewed here.