These young people are among the smartest and most accomplished people of their generation. Under the will of Cecil Rhodes, the developer of African railroads and colonist, Rhodes Scholars must demonstrate leadership and service, and they must be well-rounded, which usually means they are accomplished athletes in one area in addition to their academic acumen.
One of this year’s winners will have to bail out on the second year of his Teach for America commitment — one hopes TFA will understand. Joshua Carpenter, a 2010 graduate of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, taught writing, math and economics in Marion, Alabama.
Past American Rhodes Scholarship winners include former Sen. Bill Bradley of New Jersey, the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, musician and actor Kris Kristofferson, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, former President Bill Clinton, late Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, physician and Pulitzer-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, and author Naomi Wolf. Here’s the press release from the Trust:
WASHINGTON, DC/November 19, 2011 – Elliot F. Gerson, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust, today announced the names of the thirty-two American men and women chosen as Rhodes Scholars representing the United States. Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England, and may allow funding in some instances for four years. Mr. Gerson called the Rhodes Scholarships,” the oldest and best known award for international study, and arguably the most famous academic award available to American college graduates.” They were created in 1902 by the Will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. The first class of American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904; those elected today will enter Oxford in October 2012.
Rhodes Scholars are chosen in a two-stage process. First, candidates must be endorsed by their college or university. This year over 2000 students sought their institution’s endorsement; 830 were endorsed by 299 different colleges and universities.
Committees of Selection in each of 16 U.S. districts then invite the strongest applicants to appear before them for interview. Gerson said, “applicants are chosen on the basis of the criteria set down in the Will of Cecil Rhodes. These criteria are high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership, and physical vigor. These basic characteristics are directed at fulfilling Mr. Rhodes’s hopes that the Rhodes Scholars would make an effective and positive contribution throughout the world. In Rhodes’ words, his Scholars should ‘esteem the performance of public duties as their highest aim.’”
Applicants in the United States may apply either through the state where they are legally resident or where they have attended college for at least two years. The district committees met separately, on Friday and Saturday, November 18 and 19, in cities across the country. Each district committee made a final selection of two Rhodes Scholars from the candidates of the state or states within the district. Two-hundred ten applicants from 99 different colleges and universities reached the final stage of the competition, including 15 that had never before had a student win a Rhodes Scholarship. Gerson also reported, “in most years, we elect a winner from a college that had never before had a Rhodes Scholar, even after more than a century. This year we are pleased to announce first-time winners from Bard College and from California State University, Long Beach.”
The thirty-two Rhodes Scholars chosen from the United States will join an international group of Scholars chosen from fourteen other jurisdictions around the world. In addition to the thirty-two Americans, Scholars are also selected from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the nations of the Commonwealth Caribbean, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa (South Africa, plus Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Approximately 80 Scholars are selected worldwide each year, usually including several who have attended American colleges and universities but who ae not U.S. citizens and who have applied through their home country.
With the elections announced today, 3,260 Americans have won Rhodes Scholarships, representing 314 colleges and universities. Since 1976, women have been eligible to apply and 458 American women have now won the coveted scholarship. And for the fourth time since 1976, more women (17) than men (15) were elected. Men constituted 58% of the applicant pool and 60% of those who reached the final stage of the competition. More than 1,800 American Rhodes Scholars are living in all parts of the U.S. and abroad.
The value of the Rhodes Scholarship varies depending on the academic field and the degree (B.A., master’s, doctoral) chosen. The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university fees, provides a stipend to cover necessary expenses while in residence in Oxford as well as during vacations, and transportation to and from England. Mr. Gerson estimates that the total value of the Scholarship averages approximately US$50,000 per year, and up to as much as US$200,000 for Scholars who remain at Oxford for four years in certain departments.
The full list of the newly elected United States Rhodes Scholars, with the states from which they were chosen,
their home addresses, and their American colleges or universities, follows. Brief profiles follow the list.
Selectees are listed here first by the state from which they competed, and then by the college they attended — note that the college may not be in the state from which the candidate competed.
American Rhodes Scholars-elect for 2012
(Subject to ratification by the Rhodes Trustees after acceptance by one of the colleges of Oxford University)
New Hampshire, Yale University
Ms. Helen E. Jack
Hanover, New Hampshire
Rhode Island Brown University
Ms. Emma F. LeBlanc
Manchester, New Hampshire
Massachusetts, Princeton University
Ms. Elizabeth W. Butterworth
Massachusetts, Brown University
Mr. David S. Poritz
New York, Princeton University
Ms. Miriam Rosenbaum
Bronx, New York
New York, Harvard College
Ms. Brett A. Rosenberg
Chappaqua, New York
Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr College
Ms. Nina R.W. Cohen
Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh
Mr. Cory J. Rodgers
Maryland/DC, Yale Law School and Bard College
Mr. Ronan S. Farrow
North Carolina, Wake Forest University
Mr. Brandon E. Turner
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Georgia, Stanford University
Mr. Ishan Nath
Virginia, Brown University
Mr. Nabeel N. Gillani
Glen Allen, Virginia
Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Mr. Joshua D. Carpenter
Tennessee, Sewanee: The University of the South
Ms. Carrie H. Ryan
Texas, Stanford University
Ms. Aysha N. Bagchi
Texas, Stanford University
Mr. Anand R. Habib
Indiana, Princeton University
Mr. Mohit Agrawal
West Lafayette, Indiana
Kentucky, Harvard College
Mr. Victor Yang
Illinois, Northwestern University
Ms. Sarah N. Smierciak
Michigan, Harvard College
Mr. Spencer B.L. Lenfield
Paw Paw, Michigan
Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ms. Alexis K. Brown
Wisconsin, Princeton University
Ms. Astrid E. M. L. Stuth
Kansas, University of Kansas
Ms. Kelsey R. Murrell
South Carolina, Stanford University
Ms. Katherine Niehaus
Columbia, South Carolina
Colorado, United States Air Force Academy
Mr. Zachary A. Crippen
Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
Colorado, Harvard College
Mr. Samuel M. Galler
Washington, University of Washington
Mr. Byron D. Gray
Post Falls, Idaho
Washington, University of Washington
Mr. Cameron W. Turtle
California, Brown University
Ms. Brianna R. Doherty
California, Stanford University
Ms. Tenzin Seldon
California, California State University, Long Beach
Ms. Stephanie Bryson
San Diego, California
California, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ms. Stephanie Lin
More details may be available at the Rhodes Trust website for the American group.
Profiles of Rhodes 2012 winners below the fold.
- Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Stanford got 5 Rhodes scholars, most ever for the school – plus other winners
- AP story
- Houston Chronicle notes one selectee is a graduate of Houston’s Bellaire High School
- The Daily Princetonian wrote that four awardees come from Princeton
- Chicago Tribune, two students from the Chicago area won Rhodes Scholarships
- Boston Post made mention of two winners from New Hampshire
- Huffington Post picked up on Ronan Farrow being named to a Rhodes — Bard College’s youngest ever graduate at the age of 15, now graduated from Yale’s law school, Farrow advises the U.S. Secretary of State — and is the son of actor Mia Farrow and director Woody Allen
- Sewanee University’s press release on the school’s Rhodes Scholarship tradition
- Harvard Gazette said four recipients are seniors at Harvard
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story on Cory Rodgers’ selection
- Sacramento Bee story on two California women’s being selected
- CBS Channel 3 (Philadelphi) story on three Pennsylvanians named to the Rhodes
- Lexington Herald-Leader story on Victor Yang
- Wake Forest University news center on Brandon Turner’s award
Why isn’t this a bigger deal in American news outlets?
American Rhodes Scholars-elect for 2012
(Subject to ratification by the Rhodes Trustees after acceptance by one of the colleges of Oxford University)
Helen E. Jack, Hanover, is a senior at Yale with majors in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, and in international studies. A leader in Amnesty International
from high school through college, she is also active in Physicians for Human Rights and the New Haven Syringe Exchange. Helen worked for the Earth Institute’s Millenium Cities Initiative in Ghana and is committed to public health reform and issues of health equity. She is also captain of the Yale club road running team and is a triathlete. She plans to do the M.Sc. in evidence-based social intervention at Oxford.
Emma F. LeBlanc, Manchester, New Hampshire, graduated from Brown in June with a B.A. in sociology. She is also pursuing a master of fine arts in fiction at Southern New Hampshire University where she is writing a novel. She now lives near Damascus, Syria, where she is doing research on Syria’s marginalized Bedouin community. She is an accomplished photographer with many public exhibitions and has published over 40 articles and photographs. At Oxford, Emma plans to do a doctorate in social and cultural anthropology.
Elizabeth W. Butterworth, Auburn, is a senior at Princeton majoring in classics. Elected early to Phi Beta Kappa, she has received high distinctions in Latin, Greek, history, archaeology, and literature. Liz has worked at excavations in Greece and Italy. She also founded and directed a music program for children of low-income families in Worcester. Her career interest is in arts education. Liz plans to do the M.Sc. in comparative and international education at Oxford.
David S. Poritz, Amherst, is a senior at Brown majoring in anthropology and Latin American and Caribbean studies. A Truman Scholar, David started and maintains two organizations focused on the environmental effects of the oil industry on the lives of people in the Amazon. One developed a certification system for environmental and social standards and the other supports more rigorous environmental regulation. At Oxford, he plans to do the M.Phil. in Latin American studies.
Miriam Rosenbaum, Bronx, is a senior at Princeton where she is completing a master’s in public affairs, with minors in African American studies, Judaic studies, and Near Eastern studies language and culture. Miriam grew up in an ultra-orthodox Jewish community. At Princeton, she is president of the sexual harassment/advising resources and peer advising group, and president of the interfaith dialogue group. Miriam also works with severely disabled children. She is interested in bioethics, health equity and healthcare policy, and plans to do an M.Sc. in public health at Oxford.
Brett A. Rosenberg, Chappaqua, is a senior at Harvard concentrating in history. An editorial columnist for the Harvard Crimson, she has also written for the New York Times and Harvard Magazine, and was a fiction and poetry editor of Tuesday Magazine. She is also head research assistant to Professor Niall Fergusson. Brett has also been a peer advisor and a member of the Kuumbu Singers, a choir dedicated to black creativity and spiritualism. At Oxford, she plans to the M.Phil. in international relations.
Nina R.W. Cohen, Newton, Massachusetts, is a senior at Bryn Mawr with majors in philosophy and French. She also studied at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. Her thesis focuses on liberalism, republicanism, and the relationship of the individual to the state. She has been active as a volunteer and tutor, worked for the late Senator Ted Kennedy, and on mental health issues for the Massachusetts legislature and the American Foreign Services Committee. Nina is a classical musician and is deeply committed to issues of disability. She plans to do the M.Phil. in politics at Oxford.
Cory J. Rodgers, Somerset, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in December in biological sciences, history and philosophy of science and African studies, and with a minor in chemistry. He has done research and language study in Tanzania and Mongolia, and tutored refugee families from Somalia. Cory is founder and president of the Pitt chapter of Americans for Informed Democracy, has done research on pertussis outbreaks in U.S. hospitals and on DNA replication, and is passionate about health equity. Cory plans to do an M.Sc. in medical anthropology and an M.Sc. in migration studies at Oxford.
Ronan S. Farrow, Washington, DC, graduated with double majors in philosophy and biology from Bard College in 2004. He was the college’s youngest graduate ever, at age 15. He is now its first Rhodes Scholar. He graduated from Yale Law School in 2009, where he edited the Yale Journal of International Affairs. He is currently Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Global Youth Issues, and before that was Special Advisor for Humanitarian and NGO Affairs. He has been a political commentator on three networks and in many national publications, and is a songwriter and guitarist. He grew up with fourteen adopted siblings from seven countries speaking six languages. At Oxford, Ronan plans to do a D.Phil. in international development.
Brandon E. Turner, Winston-Salem, is a senior biophysics major at Wake Forest University with minors in sociology and chemistry. Brandon has won awards and scholarships for his work in physics, directed volunteers for a homeless shelter, and is a rugby player selected for state and southern United States all-star teams. He served as director of a program in Cameroon that built school computer labs, and trained Cameroonian children in basic computer skills. Brandon plans to do the M.Sc. in global health science at Oxford.
Ishan Nath, Atlanta, is a senior at Stanford where he will receive bachelors’ degrees in economics and earth systems, and with a minor in mathematics. His senior thesis relates to clean energy and a national cap-and-trade emissions trading system. Ishan also interned at the office of economic policy at the White House and served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy. A Truman Scholar and a Udall Scholar, he has also been an editorial writer for the Stanford Daily and a political columnist. A marathon runner, he will do the M.Sc. in economics for development at Oxford.
Nabeel N. Gillani, Glen Allen, is a senior at Brown majoring in applied mathematics and computer science. Nabeel has also served as a research assistant on a biotechnology project, as a Microsoft project manager, and is working now at Brown’s optimization lab on electricity restoration for disaster relief. He founded a Providence-based microfinance organization as well as an outreach program in the Providence public schools to help younger students learn math. At Oxford he plans to do the M.Sc. in computer science and the M.Sc. in education.
Joshua D. Carpenter, Florence, is a 2010 graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a B.S. in accounting and economics. Josh is now a teacher with Teach for America in Marion, Alabama. Committed to education reform, he started a program to train students to prepare tax returns for low-income families, and taught writing and economics and math to students in the Birmingham city schools. Josh also served as a White House intern and co-captained UAB’s mock trial team. He plans to do the M.Phil. in comparative social policy at Oxford.
Carrie H. Ryan, Sewanee, is a senior at The University of the South majoring in cultural anthropology. The president of the student body and a student trustee, she also co-founded the diversity coalition and won the community service award for all public and private universities in Tennessee. Carrie also founded an organization fostering relationships between public school students and residents of retirement communities, and researched elder care in India related to her extensive academic work in gerontology. She will do the M.Phil. in evidence-based social intervention at Oxford.
Aysha N. Bagchi, Austin, graduated from Stanford in June with degrees in philosophy and history and honors in ethics in society. She is now studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Aysha served as a member of Stanford’s task force to review undergraduate education, held many roles on the Stanford Daily, and co-founded the Stanford Immigrant Rights Project. She also received major Stanford prizes for contributions to the university and for her scholarship. Aysha plans to do the M.Phil. in politics at Oxford.
Anand R. Habib, Houston, graduated from Stanford in June with a B.S. in biology and honors in international security studies. He is currently on a global health fellowship in Haiti where he is working in a variety of community health programs. Winning top university awards for his academic work, he also distinguished himself as a leader of many public service programs at Stanford, in his communities in California and Texas, and in India, Mexico, Guatemala and Haiti. Anand plans to do masters’ degrees in public policy and medical anthropology at Oxford.
Mohit Agrawal, West Lafayette, received his B.A. in mathematics at Princeton last year and is currently doing a master’s degree in economic policy evaluation at the National University of Ireland. Elected early to Phi Beta Kappa and the winner of a Mitchell Scholarship, he was co-president of Engineers Without Borders and proposed the Ghana School Library Initiative to construct a library in Ashaiman, Ghana. Mohit also spent a semester at the National University of Singapore and developed tools for anti-cryptology systems for the National Security Agency. He plans to do the D.Phil. in financial economics at Oxford.
Victor Yang, Lexington, is a senior at Harvard concentrating in history and science. A U.S. presidential scholar, and elected as a junior to Phi Beta Kappa, his academic focus has been on medicine and society. Victor also studied at Oxford, where he won the Oxford Law Society essay competition. He is doing research to drive reform in Medicaid reimbursement policy, was a public policy intern with the National League of Cities, conducted a project on HIV/AIDS antiretroviral services in South Africa and taught English in Bulgaria. He also was a staff writer for the Harvard Crimson. Victor will do the master of public policy at Oxford.
Sarah N. Smierciak, Lemont, graduated from Northwestern in June with majors in history and in Middle East language and civilization. She has also studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo and at Damascus University. Elected as a junior to Phi Beta Kappa, she is now living in Cairo, and developing a curriculum for orphans and street children in a special school recognized by the United Nations. She has published articles on social justice and published her photography, and serves as a docent on Egyptian art at The Field Museum. She is also a triathlete. Sarah plans to do the M.Phil. in development studies.
Spencer B.L. Lenfield, Paw Paw, is a senior at Harvard concentrating in history and literature. Winning top distinction as a scholar of the humanities since his freshman year, Spencer has won prizes for his work on Flaubert and Virginia Woolf, and has been editor-in-chief of a student literary magazine, arts columnist for the Harvard Crimson and contributing writer for Harvard Magazine. He is also an accomplished pianist and poet. Spencer was born in Korea and adopted as an infant by his parents in Kalamazoo. He intends to do an M.Litt. in history at Oxford.
Alexis K. Brown, Madison, is a senior majoring in English and history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Elected as a junior to Phi Beta Kappa, she was named the outstanding student in the English department. She is founder and editor-in-chief of a national undergraduate journal of literary criticism, and has been an editor and poetry reviewer of another literary arts journal. In addition, Alexis has taught reading and math to children from low income families and works as a writing fellow. She is also a figure skating instructor and choreographer. Alexis plans to do the M.St. in modern English literature at Oxford.
Astrid E.M.L. Stuth, Hubertus, is a senior at Princeton majoring in East Asian studies. She studied Mandarin at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Astrid left her home in Wisconsin to attend high school in Hong Kong. A debater who has competed for the United States in China in Chinese, she is also president of a Princeton a capella group and co-founded and directed an initiative for American and Iraqi youth. Astrid aspires to a career in public diplomacy, with a special focus on U.S.-China relations. At Oxford, she plans to pursue the M.Phil. in international relations.
Kelsey R. Murrell, Kearney, Missouri, is a senior English major at the University of Kansas. A national, regional, and university prize winning writer and playwright, her senior thesis combines refugee narratives, trauma theory and the historic status of refugees. Much of her work focuses on issues of social justice. Kelsey is also a student senator, community volunteer and peer mentor. She has studied or done research in Peru and Costa Rica and for The London Review. She will do the M.Sc. in migration studies and the M.Sc. in refugee and forced migration studies at Oxford.
Katherine Niehaus, Columbia, received her B.S. in biomechanical engineering at Stanford in 2010 and an M.S. in 2011, concentrating in biomedical devices. Her class and research work focuses on biomechanics and her interests lie in its applications to high technology entrepreneurship. Kate also captained Stanford’s varsity track and cross country teams, won the Pac-10 5,000 meters, and won Academic-All American status. She also served as a mentor and tutor for students in low-income families. Kate intends to do a D.Phil. in systems approaches to biomedical science at Oxford.
Zachary A. Crippen, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, is a senior at the United States Air Force Academy where he concentrates in foreign area studies, in which he has been recognized as the top student. Zach is Vice Wing Commander and ranks second in military class rank. He captained the USAFA’s mock trial team and has studied in Israel and Egypt, and done military training in Germany. At Oxford, Zach plans to do the master of public policy and the M.Sc. in global governance and diplomacy.
Samuel M. Galler, Boulder, is a Harvard senior who will get a bachelor’s in East Asian studies and global health and health policy and a master’s in East Asian regional studies. His thesis is on the politics of Chinese NGOs and HIV/AIDS. Sam was a research intern at Tsinghua University, founded a web-design firm, and as a former competitor in the World Youth Chess Olympics, co-founded a chess academy for middle and elementary school children. He is also president of an a capella group and a vocal jazz ensemble. Sam plans to do the M.Sc. in modern Chinese studies and the M.Sc. in global health science at Oxford.
Byron D. Gray, Post Falls, Idaho, is a senior at the University of Washington with majors in political science; law, societies and justice; and Asian studies. His senior thesis is on family law, human rights and religious sectarianism in India. Byron won U.S. State Department scholarships for the study of Urdu and Hindi, and worked for an NGO in rural northern India. He has also studies the status of immigrants in Italy and has done work on human rights and religious violence in South Asia. At Oxford, Byron plans to do an M.Sc. in contemporary India and an M.St. in socio-legal studies.
Cameron W. Turtle, Pullman, is a senior at the University of Washington, majoring in bioengineering. A Mary Gates scholar and a Goldwater scholar, he has done extensive work in cardiac therapeutics. He co-founded Bioengineers Without Borders at the University of Washington, providing opportunities for service in global health. Cameron is also a successful social entrepreneur, founding and now serving as CEO of Point of Care Technologies, a company that develops molecular medical diagnostic devises that interface with Android-based mobile equipment. He intends to do a D.Phil. in cardiovascular medicine at Oxford.
Brianna R. Doherty, Carmichael, is a senior at Brown where she will receive a B.Sc. in cognitive neuroscience. Much of her work there is to understand how autism spectrum disorders affect the ability of children to feel empathy to others. Brianna is also a painter, a DJ, and a dancer, and studied art history in Florence. She is a peer advisor and a leader of the Brown outdoor leadership program and a certified wilderness first responder. Brianna will do the M.Sc. in experimental psychology at Oxford.
Tenzin Seldon, Albany, is a senior at Stanford majoring in comparative studies in race and ethnicity. Before Stanford, she received an A.A. from Berkeley City College. Tenzin’s passion is to use her life to bring justice, freedom and equality to the Tibetan people. She is already a major leader of the Tibetan diaspora nationally. In addition, she is a fellow at the Center for Companion and Altruism Research and Education at the Stanford School of Medicine, did research among Tibetan refugees in India, and is on the board of directors of The Stanford Daily. She is also a Truman Scholar. Tenzin plans to do the M.Sc. in refugee and forced migration studies and the M.Sc. in modern Chinese studies at Oxford.
Stephanie J. Bryson, San Diego, received her B.A. summa cum laude and as valedictorian from the California State University, Long Beach in May, and is its first Rhodes Scholar. She majored in international studies with a concentration is western Europe and minored in political science. She is now at Georgetown University pursuing an M.A. in German and European Studies. Stephanie also spent a year at the Humboldt University in Berlin and interned at the U.S. mission to the European Union in Brussels. She also trained and supervised lifeguards in Del Mar and has worked in the Wounded Warrior Project and for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Stephanie will do the M.Phil. in politics at Oxford.
Stephanie Lin, Irvine, is a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she majors in biology and minors in applied international studies. In addition to winning many academic awards, she is active with the MIT Global Poverty Initiatives, directing projects in Mexico, and is a founding resource coordinator for Health Leads Boston. Stephanie is editor-in-chief of MIT’s only journal of arts and letters, and has done biochemical research at the Chao Cancer Research Center and the Whitehead Institute relating to lung cancer, Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi’s sarcoma virus. Stephanie intends to do the M.Sc. in medical anthropology and the M.Sc. in global health science at Oxford.