Will Florida Become the New Mecca for National Merit Scholars?

A few flagship universities–Oklahoma and Alabama, for example– are well-known for the generous merit scholarships, most of which provide the largest awards to national merit scholars or students with very similar qualifications. Now there are several other major players in this game, and all are in the state of Florida, home to several colleges on the rise in national rankings.

In March, Gov. Rick Scott, who is often at odds with higher ed professionals, signed Senate Bill 4. The bill passed the senate with unanimous support in mid-January.

Florida State has risen from 101st in U.S. News rankings for 2011 to 81st in the 2018 rankings.

The bill expands the full-ride Benacquisto Scholarship to include not only in-state National Merit and National Achievement Scholars but also out-of-state winners of these awards.

For out-of-state National Merit Scholars, the award is “equal to the institutional cost of attendance for a resident of this state minus the student’s National Merit Scholarship. Such student is exempt from the payment of out-of-state fees.”

The value of the award for in-state students at the University of Florida is $21,210 per year. For out-of-state students, it is $43,448 per year.

The bill provides $124 million to fund these and other merit awards in 2018-2019 alone. Here is a summary:

Expands merit-based state gift aid for high-performing students:

  • Reinstates full funding of the Bright Futures Florida Academic Scholar award at 100 percent of tuition and fees, plus $300 in fall and spring semesters to cover instructional materials and other costs, beginning in this 2017-2018 academic year and guarantees funding for 2018 summer term tuition and fees for Bright Futures Florida Academic Scholar awards.
  • New provisions of the legislation this year reinstate funding for the Bright Futures Florida Medallion Scholar award at 75 percent of tuition and fees for fall and spring semesters, beginning in fall semester of the 2018-2019 academic year and guarantee funding for 2019 summer term tuition and fees for Bright Futures Florida Medallion Scholar awards.
  • Expands Benacquisto Scholarship awards (full cost of attendance) to recruit out-of-state National Merit Scholar award winners.

“Senate Bill 4 ensures universities remain accountable to Florida taxpayers by refining university performance expectations to incentivize and reward state university performance excellence and recognition in academics, instruction, research, and community accomplishments and achievements,” according to a press release from the Florida senate.

Florida lawmakers have also designated “preeminent” and “emerging preeminent” universities. These universities must meet targets for graduation, retention, and post-graduation employment. Florida and Florida State were the first preeminent universities, and the University of South Florida has now moved from emerging preeminent to preeminent. The University of Central Florida will be next.

According to USF, “The designation will bring not only more prestige but more funding for the university. UF and FSU each received $17.3 million as pre-eminent universities this year, while USF and the University of Central Florida each received $8.7 million as ’emerging’ pre-eminent schools.”

The extra funds are used to elevate the quality and recognition of the universities by hiring eminent faculty members, improving grad and retention rates, and funding STEM programs. The University of Florida, for example, has risen from 58th in the 2011 U.S. News rankings to 42nd in the 2018 rankings. Florida State, meanwhile, has moved from 101st to 81st in the same time frame.

 

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Schwarzman Scholars: A Masters Program to Understand China and the ‘Geopolitical Landscape’

Heralded as the biggest international award since the Rhodes Scholarship, the Schwarzman Scholars program “is the first scholarship created to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st Century. Whether in politics, business or science, the success of future leaders around the world will depend upon an understanding of China’s role in global trends.”

The program gives scholars the opportunity “to develop their leadership skills and professional networks through a one-year Master’s Degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing – one of China’s most prestigious universities.”

Outside view Schwarzman College, Tsingua University, Beijing, China

The 142 Schwarzman Scholars in the class of 2019 were selected from over 4,000 applicants. The class includes students from 39 countries and 97 universities with 41% from the United States, 20% from China, and 39% from the rest of the world.

The percentage of students from U.S. universities is much greater than the percentage of students who are from the U.S., however. For example, of the 25 students from Harvard who have won the award during the first three years, ten are from other nations. Of the five scholars from UNC Chapel Hill, four are foreign students, three of whom are from China. Half of the winners from NYU are foreign students.

With 25 scholars thus far, Harvard is by far the cumulative leader. Like the Rhodes Scholarship, the Schwarzman program, at least at this early stage, shares the Rhodes preference for graduates of elite private universities (and the service academies). After Harvard, the schools with the highest totals across three years are Yale (16), Princeton (15), West Point (11), MIT (10), NYU (9), Oxford and Stanford (8), Cambridge, Cornell, and Duke (7), and Penn and Annapolis (5). UNC Chapel Hill, the leader among public universities, is tied with Penn and Annapolis, with five scholars.

Schwarzman Residence, Tsingua University

Public universities with three scholars are Tennessee, UC Berkeley, Virginia, and Georgia. Georgia had two scholars in 2019 alone. Publics with two scholars are Cincinnati, Delaware, Missouri, UCLA, UT Austin, and UW Madison.

Scholars have their own residence at Tsinghua University, on the campus of Schwarzman College, a newly-built, state-of-the-art facility, where all classes are taught in English. Students pursue a Masters in Global Affairs, with concentrations in one of the disciplines:

  • Public Policy
  • Economics and Business=
  • International Studies

The official statement on admissions states that the “selection process prioritizes academic excellence and leadership potential without regard for the university or college where the candidate studied, assuming the institution was properly accredited. Outstanding scholars and leaders may come from a wide variety of institutions.”

There are no set GPA standards for selection, though academic excellence is definitely required. Applicants can be graduate students and must be between 18 and 28 years of age, as of August 1, 2018. Important application materials include:

  • 2 letters from professors who have taught them in the classroom and can speak to their academic abilities
  • 1 letter addressing their leadership abilities (this can be from an employer, supervisor, mentor, faculty member, or other)

Recent course listings

“Students spend a year immersed in an international community of thinkers, innovators and senior leaders in business, politics and society. In an environment of intellectual engagement, professional development and cultural exchange, they learn from one another and pursue their academic disciplines while building their leadership capacities. This experience will expand students’ understanding of the world and create a growing network of global leaders for the future.”

 

The SAT “Confirming” Test for National Merit Semifinalists: What Is It?

Of the 16,000 students (~top 1%) who become National Merit semifinalists, about 15,000 become finalists, most often because some semifinalists have a few low grades, a poor essay, or do not have sufficient SAT confirming scores (see below). And only about 7,500 actually become National Merit Scholars. One reason: many National Merit Scholars choose to attend one of the many prestigious colleges that do not offer any merit scholarships. For example, Harvard might have 250 National Merit Scholars in a given freshman class, but none will receive a merit scholarship of any kind.

(Please see this post for a discussion of PSAT scores and SAT confirming scores.)

The SAT “confirming” score: In order to become a finalist, a student must take the SAT no later than December of the senior year, but taking it no later than early November is recommended. Earlier tests taken as a sophomore or later may also be used. Superscores are not allowed. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation must receive your SAT scores by December 31. This only leaves about a week after receiving December test scores to make sure of the notification. 

According to the NMSC, the “SAT Program will not report your scores to NMSC unless you request it, and you cannot substitute a photocopy of the score report sent to you or your school for the official report. Send all testing and score reporting fees directly to the SAT Program.”

The ACT does not count for confirming purposes. And, you guessed it, the SAT for purposes of NMS eligibility also has a selection index. 

The SAT selection index differs from the PSAT selection index. Because the SAT has a maximum score of 1600 versus 1520 for the PSAT, the maximum section scores for the SAT selection index are higher. The maximum scaled section score for the SAT is 40 (versus 38) and the maximum selection index score is 240 (versus 228). (But below is the recommended “simple” way to calculate the SAT selection index (SSI).

Another difference is that, for the SAT, the confirming score is national, one SAT selection index total for everyone, regardless of state or location of residence. In the past, an SSI score that equals the PSAT selection index score for commended students has been the minimum acceptable SSI. The good news is that very high scorers on the PSAT should be very likely to meet the “commendable” threshold of the confirming SAT.

Students in states where the commendable PSAT score is the same as the seminfinalist qualify score, and who just did make the commendable score, may have to take the SAT more than once to confirm. Taking the SAT multiple times to reach a confirming score is well worth the effort given the many advantages that come with NMS status.

Example: PSAT selection index score is 2011 = commended student.

Student A has an overall SAT score of 1430, with an evidence-based reading and writing (EBRW) score of 710 and a math score of 720. (These SAT percentiles are 96 for EBRW and 95 for math.)

The simple formula for the SSI is to drop the zeros from the scores, thus making the above scores 71 and 72, respectively. Then multiply the EBRW score by 2, and add the math score.

Example: 71 x 2 = 142; 142 + 72 = 214. An SSI of 214 exceeds the PSAT SI score of 211 and should be sufficient for confirming purposes.

You can also calculate the SSI by doubling the total EBRW score (710 x 2), adding the total math score (720), and dividing the total sum by 10.

Example: 710 x 2 = 1420; 1420 + 720 = 2140; 2140 / 10 = 214.

Rhodes Scholars 2018: More Breadth, Less Ivy Dominance

The Rhodes Scholarships continue to be awarded mainly to students from private colleges and universities, but the latest group of 32 students includes “only” 8 from Ivy League universities, down from ten in 2017.

The ten public universities with 2018 scholars are CUNY (Hunter College); Temple; Maryland-Baltimore County; Georgia Tech; Auburn; Illinois; Michigan; Michigan State; South Dakota; and Alaska-Anchorage. At least nine of these scholars are present or former honors program students.

Rhodes Scholars from Hunter College (CUNY), Temple, UMBC, and Alaska-Anchorage are the first from their colleges to earn the prestigious award. The selection of a record number of black Rhodes Scholars is further evidence that the Rhodes Trust is taking a broader approach.

The total value of the scholarship averages approximately $68,000 per year, and up to as much as approximately $250,000 for scholars who remain at Oxford for four years in certain departments.

The new list of Rhodes Scholars (awarded in November 2017 for the year 2018) includes four from Harvard, as in the previous class, far and away the cumulative leader among all schools; one from Princeton, two from Yale, and one from Penn. In 2015 and 2016, the Ivy League recorded 14 of the 32 awards won by American students. In 2013 there were 16 winners from the Ivies, twice the number in the current class.

The University of Virginia and North Carolina at Chapel Hill are the leaders among all state universities in the number of Rhodes Scholars earned by their graduates. UVA has 53 Rhodes Scholars, and UNC Chapel Hill has 49.

Once again, the service academies are well-represented. The U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs each had Rhodes winners.

Udall Scholars 2017: Colorado State, Georgia, and William and Mary have Two Each

The 2017 class of Udall Scholars was selected from 494 candidates nominated by 224 colleges and universities. Thirty-four Scholars intend to pursue careers related to the environment. Eleven Native American/Alaska Native Scholars intend to pursue careers related to Tribal public policy; five Native American/Alaska Native Scholars intend to pursue careers related to Native health care. Thanks to strong recruiting efforts from faculty advisors, professors, alumni, and partners, nominations in the Native Health Care and Tribal Public Policy categories increased 23.8% from 2016.

The list of recipients from public universities is below.

Each scholarship provides up to $7,000 for the Scholar’s junior or senior year. Since the first awards in 1996, the Udall Foundation has awarded 1,574 scholarships totaling $8,090,000.

William and Mary, Georgia, and Colorado State each had two winners in 2017.

Scholar Statistics

  • 50 Scholars and 50 Honorable Mentions were selected
  • 34 Scholarships were awarded in the Environment category; five in Native Health Care; and 11 in Tribal Public Policy
  • 11 Sophomores; 39 Juniors
  • 54% self-identify as non-white
  • Three Scholars were also Scholars in 2016; five Scholars were Honorable Mentions in 2016; 11 Scholars were nominated in 2016 (but were neither Scholars nor Honorable Mentions then)
  • 42 institutions have Scholars; one of those has a Scholar for the first time; 18 have Scholars for the first time in three or more years
  • Tribal Public Policy and Native Health Care scholars are enrolled in 16 different Tribes; 11 additional Tribes have Honorable Mentions
  • Scholars come from 35 states; 35 states have Honorable Mentions

Udall Scholars 2017, with name of public college or university:

Mathew T. Bain
Montana State University

Augustine J. Beard
University of Oregon

Amber H. Berg
Kansas State University

Casey E. Brayton
University of South Carolina-Columbia

Chad J. Brown
Northern Arizona University

Rachel G. Dickson
University of Montana

Grace F. Fuchs
Ohio University

Shreya Ganeshan
University of Georgia

Tomas W. Green
University of Kansas

Katelynne N Johnson
Colorado State University

Kiloaulani E. Kaawa-Gonzales
Colorado State University

Emma Kincade
Oklahoma State University

Ashley N. Lewis
Highline Community Tribe of the Pine Ridge College

Tamee E. Livermont
University of South Dakota

Sabrina R. Myoda
Purdue University

Mackenzie L. Neal
College of William and Mary

David Perez
Florida State University

Emily Plumage
University of Utah

Matthew A. Salm
University of Texas-Dallas

Talia J. Schmitt
College of William and Mary

Tal Y. Shutkin
Ohio State University

Cheyenne M. Siverly
University of Hawaii-Manoa

Madelyn M. Smith
Louisiana State University

Krti Tallam
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Megan J. Tom
Arizona State University

Tarlynn N. Tone-Pah-Hote
University of Minnesota-Morris

Megan R. Tyminski
University of Missouri-Columbia

Aaron F. Weckstein
Temple University

Elizabeth F. Wilkes
University of Georgia

Daniel K. Wu
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Stamps Scholarships Are Only for Certain Colleges, and They Are not Need-Based

The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation partners with visionary colleges and universities to award multi-year scholarships that enable extraordinary educational experiences.

Scholars receive annual awards that range from $72,000 to $5,000 (four-year awards total an average of $288,000 – $20,000) with additional funds for enrichment activities such as study abroad, academic conferences, and leadership training. The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation and partner schools evenly share the costs of the awards.

The unique benefit that all Stamps Scholarships include is an enrichment fund, an additional monetary fund for Scholars to use in their academic and professional development. They may use the award to study or volunteer outside the United States, conduct research, or participate in a leadership program or academic conference. We like to think of this part of the award as the “dream fund.”

Where to Apply

Applying for a Stamps Scholarship is easy: just apply to one or more of our partner schools. If you qualify, you’ll automatically be considered for a Stamps award. The majority of our partner colleges and universities don’t require a separate application for the Stamps Scholarship, but the application deadline and award process varies from school to school along with the amount of the award. Expect an interview (or two or three) to be part of the process.

Visit the website of the school or schools of your choice to find out more about their unique application process and deadlines.

The Stamps Foundation, with its partner schools, seeks students who demonstrate academic merit, strong leadership potential, and exceptional character.  We support exceptional young people with promise and vision who are eager to make their contribution to the world and have the work ethic to make their dreams a reality.

Leadership development is at the core of the Stamps Scholarship program. Leadership potential is also a key part of the selection criteria for receiving a Stamps award. And, Stamps Scholars receive a separate financial award to participate in leadership activities of their choosing.

The Stamps Foundation welcomes and supports students from all backgrounds and areas of study. Financial need is not a consideration. At some of our partner schools, international students are eligible for the Stamps Scholarship. Students should check directly with the program that they are interested in to view eligibility requirements.

Stamps Scholarships are not transferable to other colleges or universities.

Selection Process

A student must apply directly to one or more of our partner schools to be considered for the Stamps Scholarship.

At certain schools, the Stamps Scholarship Program is part of an umbrella program for scholars, such as the Foundation Fellows at the University of Georgia or the Carolina Scholars at the University of South Carolina.

In many cases, students who apply by certain deadlines (often the early or ‘scholarship’ deadline) using the normal freshman application for admission will be automatically considered for the Stamps Scholarship.  In some cases, however, our partner school may request a separate application for consideration of the Stamps Scholarship.

Speak with an admissions counselor or visit the website of the school or schools of your choice to find out more about their unique application process and deadlines.

Colleges Offering Stamps Scholarships:

Barry
Caltech
Chicago
Connecticut
William and Mary
Dartmouth
Elizabethtown
Florida
Georgia Tech
LSU
Mercer
Miami Ohio
Morehouse
Oberlin
Purdue
Ohio St
Tulane
Air Force Academy
West Point
Naval Academy
UC Berkeley
UCLA
Illinois
Georgia
Maryland
Univ of Miami
Frost School of Music, Univ of Miami
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
Notre Dame
Oregon
Pitt
South Carolina
USC
UT Austin
Virginia, Darden School of Business
Virginia, Jefferson Scholars
Washington
Wisconsin
Virginia Tech
Virginia-Maryland Vet Medicine
Wake Forest
Washington Univ St. Louis

 

UC Berkeley, UT Austin Lead Publics in NSF Graduate Research Grants

The National Science Foundation has named 2017 grantees for the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NFSGRFP). UC Berkeley and UT Austin led all public universities while MIT and Cornell led private institutions.

Below please see a list of the 50 universities with the most NSFGRFP grants in 2017.

For the 2017 competition, NSF received over 13,000 applications, and made 2,000 award offers.

Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, Google founder, Sergey Brin, and Freakonomics co-author, Steven Levitt.

Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.

NSF Grad Research FellowshipsNumber
UC Berkeley64
MIT59
Cornell43
Harvard36
Yale35
UT Austin34
Stanford32
Brown30
Princeton29
Washington27
UC San Diego25
UCLA25
Wisconsin24
North Carolina22
Arizona St21
Florida21
Columbia21
Georgia Tech20
Michigan19
Maryland18
Rice18
Arizona17
Minnesota17
USC17
North Carolina St16
Caltech16
Chicago16
Colorado15
Illinois15
Duke15
Penn15
CUNY14
Ohio St14
UC Davis14
Pomona14
Pitt13
Purdue13
Tennessee12
UC Irvine12
Virginia12
Swarthmore12
Auburn11
Florida St11
UC Riverside11
Johns Hopkins11
Clemson10
Georgia 10
Texas A&M10
Northwestern10
Notre Dame10
Washington Univ10

Colorado State, Arkansas Each Have Two Truman Scholars in 2017

The University of Arkansas and Colorado State University each have two Truman Scholars for 2017, leading all public universities. This is the second year in a row that the University of Arkansas has had two Truman Scholars.

Twenty-six of the 62 Truman Scholars this year are students at public universities, and most are honors students. Three scholars have already served on active-duty in the military.

Yale University led with three scholars. Barnard College and Cornell had two scholars in 2017.

Truman Scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling and special internship opportunities within the federal government.

Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be academically excellent and be committed to careers in government or the nonprofit sector.

The Truman program drew 768 candidates nominated by 315 colleges and universities. The 62 recipients were chosen from 199 finalists by 16 independent selection panels on the basis of the students’ academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders.

The program has selected 3,139 Truman Scholars since the first awards were made in 1977.

The recipients from public universities are listed below:

Judson Adams, University of Louisville
Mussab Ali, University of Rutgers-Newark
Ryan Alonso, University of Arkansas
Taylor Cofield, University of Missouri
Francis Commercon, Colorado State University
Thomas Dowling, University of Illinois
Mohamed Elzark, University of Cincinnati
Jonathan Espinoza, West Texas A&M University
Rachel Gallina, Boise State University
Autumn Guillotte, University of Rhode Island
Sam Harris, University of Arkansas
Hanan “Alex” Hsain, North Carolina State University
Nadine Jawad, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Rachel Johnson, University of Northern Iowa
Kilaulani Kaawa-Gonzales, Colorado State University
David Lascz, US Naval Academy
Attifa Latif, University of Virginia
Claire Lynch, City College CUNY
Killian McDonald, Clemson University
Athena McNinch, University of Guam
Mikaela Meyer, Purdue University
Karen Rosario-Ortiz, University of Puerto Rico
Joseph Russell, George Mason University
Matthew Salm, University of Texas at Dallas
Taylor Zabel, University of Kansas

Mitchell Scholars 2018: Prestige, Support for Recipients…and Applicants

Editor’s Note: The following information comes from the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, sponsors of the prestigious Mitchell Scholarship.We applaud the program’s support for both applicants and winners of the award.

November 19, 2016–The US-Ireland Alliance selected the 12 members of the 2018 Class of George J. Mitchell Scholars following interviews held Washington, D.C.

Members of the class include a military veteran; a young man working for the City of Flint; a young woman working to combat food insecurity in Kansas; a quarterback for an NCAA Division 1 football team; a future doctor who seeks to provide quality healthcare services to transgender people; and a future economist who serves as a research assistant in the White House Office the National Drug Control Policy.

The selection committee includes Frank Bruni, New York Times Op-Ed Columnist and the author of three bestselling books, including Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. One of his columns, “A Prudent College Path,” presented a very positive view of public university honors programs. The Mitchell program is very interested in applicants from honors students.

The scholarship program was created nearly 20 years ago by Trina Vargo, founder of the US-Ireland Alliance. This year, the nationwide competition attracted 323 applicants (up 14% from the previous year) for the 12 scholarships named in honor of the former Maine Senator’s contributions to the Northern Ireland peace process. Recipients are chosen on the basis of academic distinction, leadership and service and spend a year of post-graduate study at institutions of higher learning in Ireland.

Carolina Chavez, the new Director of the Mitchell Scholarship Program, worked previously for ten years on the Fulbright program at the Department of State. Chavez noted that in all of her experience, “I can tell you that the Mitchell Scholar network is exceptionally strong. Our alumni are involved and important to each other, to the Program, and to Ireland.”

Current sponsor of the Mitchell Scholarship program include Ireland’s Department of Education and Skills, Morgan Stanley, CRH and the American Ireland Fund.

“There are numerous applicants who are incredibly talented,” Ms. Vargo said. “While we can’t offer them all a scholarship, we recognize the major effort entailed in simply applying, and we wanted to find ways to help increase their opportunities….This year, we have initiated a process whereby the resumes of applicants may be shared with our major sponsors. This is a win-win given that recruitment of top talent is a priority for many companies.”

Those selected today will begin their studies in Ireland in September 2017.

George J. Mitchell Scholarship, Class of 2018

Joel Arnold graduated from Michigan State University with a double major in Social Relations/Policy and Urban and Regional Planning. A native of Flint, Michigan, Joel is currently a Blight Management Analyst for the City of Flint and administers the Love Your Block Program, which provides residents and local organizations with no-cost resources to perform major beautification efforts….He will study Urban Policy Stream at University College Dublin.

Margaret Born is a senior at Michigan State University, double majoring in Arabic and Comparative Cultures and Politics. Born to American aid workers in South Africa, Margaret grew up in Mozambique and moved to Wyoming for high school. Interested in issues of diversity and inclusion, she founded Project Nur at MSU in 2013, a student-led organization focused on combating Islamophobia on campus….Margaret aspires to work on international refugee policy and she will study International Development, Environment, and Conflict at Dublin City University.

Theodore L. Caputi is a senior majoring in Mathematics and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Interested in the factors that contribute to drug and alcohol addiction since high school, Theodore is currently a White House research assistant in the Office of National Drug Control Policy where he conducts analysis of the nation’s drug prevention and treatment strategies. Theodore has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals…. He will study Public Health Promotion at University College Cork.

Donovan Hicks is a recent graduate of Wofford College where he double majored in Government and Finance. A native of South Carolina, Donovan became attuned to the inequities in his community at an early age. As a college freshman, he began a long-term internship with South Carolina Legal Services, providing legal assistance to persons well below the poverty line…. He will study Race, Ethnicity, and Conflict at Trinity College Dublin.

Meghan Hind is a senior at Harvard majoring in Neurobiology. Her interests lie in the brain circuitry behind decision-making and how beliefs and behaviors affect the decision-making process. She has organized and executed several wellness programs for her Harvard classmates, most recently serving as the Director of Workshops for LifeHack Improvitas, which brought prominent figures to campus to discuss self-improvement… She will study Values and Knowledge at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Peter Kiernan is a senior majoring in Political Science at Columbia University. Raised on Long Island, Pete joined the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after high school and became the youngest Marine to serve in the elite Special Operations Command in Afghanistan. After six years of service, Pete enrolled at Columbia where he founded the Ivy League Veterans Council, a not-for-profit dedicated to provide veterans equal access to top colleges and universities….He will study Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation at Trinity College Dublin.

Miranda Klugesherz obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Communication Studies from Hastings College and is currently a Master’s degree student in Communications Studies at Kansas State University. Concerned with food insecurity for much of her life, she currently serves as the Chair of the Junction City Food Policy Council, which advises the City Commission on matters related to the local food system…. She will study Social Policy at University College Cork.

Elizabeth (Ellie) Sell is a senior Chemistry student at Princeton University and an Emergency Medical Technician with the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad. As a research assistant at Children’s National Medical Center, Ellie used data from a trauma registry and GIS mapping to identify neighborhoods where certain types of injuries were more prevalent, giving her fellow health educators information to better hone their outreach efforts….An aspiring physician, she will study Gender, Sexuality and Culture at University College Dublin.

Lacey Smith is a recent graduate of Loyola Marymount University where she majored Health and Human Sciences.  A native of the Los Angeles area, Lacey is currently working in Haiti as a Global Health Fellow with Medical Missionaries, a US-based volunteer organization….She will study Immunology and Global Health at Maynooth University.

Tyler Swafford is a senior at Eastern Kentucky University majoring in Globalization and International Affairs. He is the starting quarterback of the Division I EKU football team and serves on the EKU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as the liaison between the team and the EKU administration. He has twice received the Ohio Valley Conference Academic Medal of Honor for having the highest GPA (4.0) on the football team…. An aspiring human rights attorney, he will study Geopolitics and Global Economy at University College Dublin.

May Treuhaft-Ali is a senior at Wesleyan University majoring in Theater Studies. With a belief that theater has the power to question and deconstruct systems of power, May has written and directed plays for Wesleyan’s Theater Department and Second Stage. Her plays were selected twice by the LA-based Blank Theatre Company’s Young Playwrights Festival, a national competition for young writers…. She will study Theatre and Performance at Trinity College Dublin.

Kathleen White is a graduate of Manhattan College and holds a degree in History and Peace Studies. A social justice advocate, Kathleen joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps after college and served as Outreach Coordinator for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth where she worked on abolishing juvenile life without parole….Kathleen will study Sociology at University College College Cork.

Rhodes Scholars 2017: Ivies Down a Bit, UVA Has Two

The Rhodes Scholarships continue to be awarded mainly to students from private colleges and universities, but the latest group of 32 students does include “only” 10 from Ivy League universities. Public universities with 2017 scholars are Virginia (2), Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, South Carolina, and UT Austin, for a total of seven.

The new list of Rhodes Scholars (awarded in November 2016 for the year 2017) includes four from Harvard, far and away the cumulative leader among all schools; one from Princeton, two from Yale, and one each from Dartmouth and Cornell. In the previous two years, the Ivy League had 14 of the 32 awards won by American students. In 2013 there were 16.

The University of  Virginia has now had six Rhodes Scholars since 2013.  UVA and North Carolina at Chapel Hill are the leaders among all state universities in the number of Rhodes Scholars earned by their graduates. UVA has 53 Rhodes Scholars, and UNC Chapel Hill has 49.

The University of Georgia, with another Rhodes winner this year for a total of 24, is notable for having almost all of its many prestigious award winners being members or graduates of the honors program.

Montana State University, despite its relatively small size, now has 11 Rhodes Scholars this year to go with an extremely high number of Goldwater Scholars.

The University of Texas at Austin now has 31 Rhodes Scholars.

Once again, the service academies are well-represented: both the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point had Rhodes winners.