Jonathan Naber named Marshall Scholar
Jonathan Naber, of Waterloo, Ill., has been awarded a Marshall
Scholarship. Each year, about 40 students from the United States are
selected as Marshall Scholars for postgraduate study at a university in
the United Kingdom. Naber is the third U. of I. student in the last six
years awarded this honor. Naber graduated from Illinois in May 2011 with
a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering.
While at Illinois, Naber conceived of providing prosthetic
arms for amputees who could not afford expensive devices. He
experimented and created prototypes, gathered and managing a team, and,
after establishing a nonprofit organization, raised more than $140,000
in start-up funds. The result, Illini Prosthetic Technologies, which provides artificial limbs to amputees in the developing world.
Naber is working in Guatemala to further develop and test
IPT’s prosthetic limbs and is creating connections to produce the
prostheses in Guatemala using locally available products.
Through the Marshall Scholarship, Naber plans to earn a
master’s degree in public health in developing countries at the London
School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a second master’s, in
development management, at the London School of Economics and Political
Science. After his studies in England, Naber envisions forming a new
team and addressing some systemic failings in how amputees are cared
for, as well as work to prevent future amputations.
Naber has won numerous awards through the College of Engineering, as well as the Lemelson-MIT Illinois
student prize for being the most inventive student at Illinois. Naber
was the first undergraduate to receive this award. He received the
nationally competitive Simon Fellowship for Noble Purposes in 2011 and
earned a Whitaker International Fellow Grant to fund his current
bioengineering research in Guatemala. He has donated more than $40,000
in prize money to IPT.
“Jonathan is that special person who transformed the
university in his time on our Urbana-Champaign campus,” said Bob Easter,
the president of the university. “His passion, commitment and
creativity have raised the bar of excellence in our world-class College
Phyllis M. Wise, the chancellor of the Urbana campus, said
Naber is an exemplary scholar and a “person of tremendous character with
significant leadership skills. … His appetite for social
entrepreneurship has become an example to our students.”
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