Rhodes Recipients Named

Five Harvard undergrads selected for the prestigious Rhodes scholarship
Matt E. Sachs
The Harvard Crimson
Cambridge, MA

Five Harvard undergraduates have been chosen for the Rhodes scholarship this year, compared to only two students the last two years.

The five Harvard College Scholars are Darryl W. Finkton Jr. ’10 from Indiana, Eva Z. Lam ’10 from Wisconsin, Roxanne E. Bras ’09 from Florida, Jean A. Junior ’09 from Michigan, and Grace Tiao ’08 from Georgia.

The Rhodes scholarship rewards 32 students in the United States with an all-expenses paid academic experience at the University of Oxford in England. Each student is able to study for two to three years in a postgraduate program of his or her choice.

According to the Rhodes Trust Web site, the criteria used for selecting Scholars are “literary and scholastic attainments, energy to use one’s talents to the full, truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship, moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one’s fellow beings.”

Each of the five Scholars suggested that the high number of Harvard students that were selected was the result of the support he or she received from the University.

“Our fellowship advisor is absolutely incredible and knows everything about everything,” said Lam. “She gave us an incredible mock interview that was excruciating but helpful. I have never had access to that level of advising before in my life.”

“I figured it wasn’t very realistic that I would win,” Finkton said. “But I talked about it with my advisor and decided to apply.”

The students selected have a variety of interests and plans of study. Finkton, a neurobiology concentrator in Quincy House, plans to use the scholarship to receive a Masters in Global Health and an MBA from the business school, spending part of his time doing development work in Africa.

“After that, the plan is to go to medical school and focus on international medicine and community development,” Finkton said.

Bras, who was an economics concentrator in Pforzheimer house last year and currently works as an active duty lieutenant, plans to earn an M.Phil. in international relations before returning to the army in the United States.

Lam of Leverett House said she will earn two masters degrees during her time at Oxford, one in comparative and international education and the other in comparative social policy. A social studies concentrator, Lam plans to return to the United States and teach for some time.

After graduating with a degree in English and history of science, Tiao has worked as an environmental scientist, leading a biodiversity expedition to Antarctica in 2008-2009. At Oxford, she plans to get a B.A. in mathematics and statistics.

A sociology concentrator and pre-med who graduated from Lowell House, Junior intends to study comparative social policy before returning to the United States for medical school.

“I want to use the degree to address not just patient’s clinical problems but also their socioeconomic needs. And I want to do that through policy change and delivery services,” said Junior. “I want to work in whatever organization I feel I will have the most impact in.”