3 with NYC ties are named Rhodes Scholars

By Samantha Gross, Associated Press

NEW YORK - Learning he was among the elite group of students who have been selected as Rhodes Scholars was cause for celebration _ but the thing that truly gets David L. V. Bauer excited is the thought of getting his hands dirty.

The City College of New York student was already back at work studying for a quantum mechanics exam on Sunday, hours after his selection was announced, along with two other students with ties to the New York City area. But he was looking forward to returning to Oxford University in England to continue the genetics research he started there during a year abroad.

"There's an element to science which isn't the book element, it's the hands on element. You can read a cookbook and still not know how to cook. And having the chance to go in and bake cakes every day, to get your hands dirty, and have someone there who will help you and guide you along the way, really puts you ahead."

Now, come October, the 21-year-old Manhattan native will be back in Britain, working on research to develop faster, cheaper ways of sequencing patients' genomes _ so that the technology can become available to everyone. Such an advance could allow more people to take preventive measures against ailments to which they are particularly susceptible.

Bauer says that research has long held more appeal for him than theory.

"Stuff that I just see as an interesting puzzle is interesting ... but my interest won't last. But it's when I can see what you can do with it, how it can change people's lives and change how we are able to interact with our world in a better way that it really becomes interesting."

The aspiring geneticist is among 32 men and women from across the United States who were selected from 769 applicants representing 207 colleges and universities, the scholarship trust announced Sunday.

As a Rhodes Scholar, Bauer will receive two or three years of free study at Oxford. The scholarships are the oldest of the international study awards available to American students. Former President Bill Clinton is among the previous recipients.

Other recipients this year with connections to the New York City area are Bronx resident Rakim H. D. Brooks, who has already been appointed a scholar at several public policy institutes and wants to study comparative social policy; and Columbia University student R. Jisung Park, who has studied sustainable development and plans to pursue a Master's degree in nature, society, and environmental policy.