By Natasha Brown

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was a major milestone at Temple University, as a senior was chosen from a poll of 3,600 applicants worldwide for a prestigious scholarship to Stanford University to further his career. He’s most proud of that honor and those around him are proud of how he’s handled the cancer battle he’s been facing outside of the classroom.

It’s easy to get lost in the crowd of thousands of students at Temple University.

But, senior physics major Marcus Forest stands out especially when he’s in his element.

“You bring the sample all the way down into this pit,” Forest said. “I’m kind of a science nerd.”

Being a self-proclaimed nerd has certainly paid off, Marcus is the first Temple University student to be named a Knight-Hennessy scholar.

The competitive scholarship program awards full financial support for graduate education at Stanford University.

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“One of the things I’m most proud of during my time at Temple is being part of this kind of upward momentum, new excitement that there has been at Temple,” Forest said.

Marcus will be working towards a Ph.D. in applied physics, a tough field, but nowhere near as difficult as the battle he’s already faced in his young life.

“In 2015, I was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma,” Forest said. “The chemotherapy regimen entailed seven months of intense chemotherapy, followed by three-ish years of maintenance chemotherapy.”

Forest is in remission, with last summer marking the end of his chemotherapy treatments. He’s looking ahead to a bright future in the beauty of physics.

He will be graduating from Temple University in May. The Avondale, Pennsylvania native will begin his graduate studies this fall at Stanford University.

He says one day he hopes to come back to Temple University, maybe as a professor or an alumni mentor.