Russell, Kentucky woman and UofL graduate returns as Rhodes Scholar

Courier-Journal, Louisville
Russell, KY

When Monica Marks graduated from Russell High School and entered college in 2004, she pictured a straightforward career path practicing civil rights law.

As the semesters went by at the University of Louisville and she learned more about African and middle eastern affairs, it began to dawn on her that she might have a different destiny. Studies in political science, philosophy and gender issues shook up long-held assumptions.

“I began to understand that things I thought were simple were actually very complex,” she said.

Marks studied in Tanzania for a year and as a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, where her concentration was in Islamic law.

Now she is a Rhodes Scholar, one of 32 in the United States chosen this year for the oldest and most prestigious of academic awards. She soon will fly to England to spend two years at Oxford, where she will pursue a doctorate in Middle Eastern studies.

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