Wake Forest student awarded Marshall scholarship

By Kevin Cox
November 28, 2005

Wake Forest University senior Blake Brandes of Hickory, who has mixed hip-hop with academic study and volunteer service, has been awarded a British Marshall Scholarship.

He is one of 43 Americans selected as a 2006 Marshall Scholarship recipient. The scholarships provide for two years of graduate study in the United Kingdom. Brandes is the first Wake Forest student to win a Marshall Scholarship since the 2001 Marshall Scholarships were announced. He is the third Marshall Scholarship winner in Wake Forest history.

Brandes, who is majoring in English and French at Wake Forest, plans to study for a master's degree at the University of Kent in England, where he will specialize in post-colonial studies.

For an independent study of Arab youth culture and music in Paris, Brandes interviewed Arab activists, music label directors and promoters and underground rap musicians.

He runs his own DJ services and production company. He is also a popular hip-hop performer on the Wake Forest campus and at off-campus venues, including social service agencies. He founded the Hip-Hop Culture Club at the university.

Brandes has traveled to Dublin to conduct independent research on James Joyce. He has also traveled to northern Africa for study in Arabic language and culture. He is an editor for the Philomathesian Journal on Liberal Arts. Brandes also won Wake Forest's D.A. Brown Award for Excellence in Writing.