On November 19, 2011, the Rhodes Trust announced the 32 winners of Rhodes Scholarships for the United States for 2012.
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
Rhodes Scholar Brandon Turner, of Fontana, California, Wake Forest University
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
Victor Yang, from Lexington, Kentucky (Harvard University)
Kentucky, Harvard College
Mr. Victor Yang
Chicago Tribune photo - Northwestern University student and new Rhodes Scholar Sarah Smierciak speaks with the media on the Northwestern University campus in Evanston today. (StaceyWescott / Chicago Tribune / November 20, 2011)
Illinois, Northwestern University
Ms. Sarah N. Smierciak
Michigan, Harvard College
Mr. Spencer B.L. Lenfield
Paw Paw, Michigan
New Rhodes Scholar Alexis Brown, University of Wisconsin
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
Aspen Institute Left to right; Cadet 1st Class Zachary Crippen (Rhodes Scholar), Cadet Squadron 12; retired Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, co-chairman of the Aspen Strategy Group; Dr. Schuyler Foerster, the Academy’s Brent Scowcroft professor for national security studies; Cadet 1st Class Peter Lind, CS15; and Cadet 1st Class Nathan Betcher, CS25, pose for a photo at the Aspen Institute Saturday (date not designated) (U.S. Air Force Photo)
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.
Why isn’t this a bigger deal in American news outlets?
Read the rest of this entry »