Sunday, November 22, 2020

10 Black students chosen as 2021 Rhodes Scholars

The Rhodes Trust announced the winners early Sunday, which include 22 students of color. Ten are Black, which ties the record for the most Black students elected in a single year. Congratulations to all 32 winners.

Meet the ten Black winners below:

Jeremy n. Thomas

Jeremy N. Thomas, Missouri City, Texas, is a senior at Amherst College, where he is completing double majors in English and Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought. Jeremy serves as student body president of the Association of Amherst Students and launched the campus’s first student-run Office of Student Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He has also held numerous leadership roles in the Amherst College Black Student Union. His senior honors thesis analyzes limits on the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause, and he has published academic research on death row exonerations. At Oxford, Jeremy plans to pursue both an M.Sc. in Criminal Justice and Criminology and an M.Sc. in Comparative Social Policy.

Danielle N. Grey-Stewart

Danielle N. Grey-Stewart, Westbury, is a senior at MIT majoring in Materials Science and Engineering. A materials scientist who is passionate about social justice, Danielle has extensive independent research experience and is a student leader at MIT’s Center for Public Service. She is also the current chair of the Undergraduate Association Committee on COVID-19 and serves on the Student Advisory Group for Engineering. She plans a career that will “responsibly use the elegance of engineering to address the immense inequity within our society” and integrate historically ignored perspectives into science policy. At Oxford, Danielle plans to pursue an M.Phil. in Nature, Society, and Environmental Governance.

Samuel E. Patterson

Samuel E. Patterson, Marietta, Georgia, is a senior at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he will receive a B.S. in Mathematics, a B.S. in Statistics and a B.A. in Economics. He has done summer research in economics and education at Harvard and in business at the University of Chicago. An accomplished musician, Sam is the Music Director of a community organization and plays upright and electric jazz bass, and volunteered to teach the basics of computer programming to middle school students. His deep work in economics through an equity lens has focused on the importance of transportation infrastructure to improve economic opportunity. Sam intends to do the M.Sc. In Nature, Society and Environmental Governance at Oxford.

Phaidra S. Buchanan

Phaidra S. Buchanan, Atlanta, is a senior at the University of Georgia, where she is pursuing a B.S. in Education. Phaidra helped examine the university’s role in the institution of slavery and studied the lived experiences of enslaved people connected to the university as a member of the History of Slavery at UGA research team. She also volunteers with an organization working to ensure equal access to higher education for students of immigrant families. Phaidra plans a career as a teacher “who fosters criticality, compassion, and joy,” and as an advocate for policies that empower students and communities. At Oxford, Phaidra plans to pursue an M.Sc. in Comparative and International Education.

Jamal T. Burns

Jamal T. Burns, St. Louis, is a senior at Duke University, where he majors in History. A Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, his research engages colonial influences on interpretations of the masculinity of Black boys in school settings. Jamal is a leading promoter of a new debate paradigm known as performance debate; he organized a speech and debate tournament that brings high school debaters from across the country to Duke. Jamal also founded and ran a campus organization for first-generation college students. At Oxford, Jamal will pursue an M.Sc. in Social Anthropology and an M.Sc. in Education.

Tyrese D. Bender

Tyrese D. Bender, Fairfax, is in his final year at the U.S. Military Academy where he will get a B.S. in Engineering. He is Deputy Brigade Commander, the second-highest ranking cadet in the West Point chain of command. Tyrese has a 4.0 GPA and has been instrumental in drafting the first-ever Diversity Strategy designed to establish a more inclusive environment at the Academy. He also established a character training protocol for 1300 cadets around issues including race, sexual harassment and assault, mental health, political activism and COVID19. Tyrese is also captain of the Division I track and field team and a champion triple jumper. plans to do an M.Sc. in Sociology and an M.Sc. in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation at Oxford.

Nkaziewok N. Nchinda-Pungong

Nkaziewok N. Nchinda-Pungong, Oak Creek, is a senior at Harvard College where he concentrates in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Sociology. He is working with a team to design a smartphone-based hemoglobin sensor for point-of-care anemia diagnosis, and is Editor-in-Chief of Harvard Brevia, the goal of which is to make scientific research more accessible to students and the general public. In addition to extensive research in microbiology, he has been active in Engineers Without Borders, is co-President of the Harvard Community of Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics, and volunteered extensively in a homeless shelter. The son of Cameroonian immigrants, Nkazi’s focus at Oxford will be to merge his interests in bioengineering and global health in order to make healthcare more scalable and affordable. At Oxford, Nkazi plans to do an M.Sc. by Research in Engineering Science.

Elijah C. DeVaughn

Elijah C. DeVaughn, Compton, is a senior at Harvard College, where he concentrates in History and Literature. A Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, his academic interests lie in exploring how rhetoric is used by Black political leaders to combat racial injustice. Elijah has worked on issues of legal representation, clemency, and prison advocacy. Most recently, he worked for the Secretary of Legal Affairs in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom where he reviewed state prisoners’ applications for commutations and pardons. He is an actor, dancer, and singer and has worked on housing issues as an intern in the office of Senator Kamala Harris. At Oxford, Elijah proposes to pursue an M.Phil. in History.

Evan C. Walker

Evan C. Walker, Rowlett, is in her final year at the U.S. Military Academy where she majors in Operations Research, with focuses in statistics and linear algebra. Her thesis analyzes the demographics of promotion andattrition among U.S. Army Field Grade Officers. She is a Regimental Commander, served as the chief liaison between survivors of sexual harassment or assault and on-campus medical professionals, and is president of an initiative to mentor minority cadets. Evan is also captain of the nationally ranked and gender integrated Army Boxing Team and last year placed second nationally in her weight class. Evan plans to do the M.Sc. in Sociology and the M.Sc. in Statistical Science at Oxford.

Aryemis C. Brown

Aryemis C. Brown, Colorado Springs, is in his final year at the U.S. Air Force Academy where he majors in Legal Studies and Humanities, and minors in Religion Studies and Philosophy. Arye’s research interests are in space and cyberspace law, technology, policy, policy and philosophy. Arye commanded the Air Force Cadet Wing as commander of troops, serving as the highest-ranking cadet at the Academy, responsible for the welfare of 4,400 personnel. His overall order of merit, combining athletic, military and academic factors is 2 of 1059. He was named a Truman Scholar this year from Maryland, where he graduated from high school. Arye will do the M.Sc. in Global Governance and Diplomacy and the Master of Public Policy at Oxford.

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