Pitt's newest Rhodes Scholar to focus on public health

Kari Andren
Pittsburgh Live

Even at age 4, Cory Rodgers was a self-driven perfectionist.

From preschool in Somerset through his studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Rodgers excelled academically, musically and athletically. On Sunday, Rodgers, 22, received his most prestigious award yet: a Rhodes Scholarship.

Rodgers was selected from a pool of 830 applicants as one of 32 American students who will represent the United States in the 2012 Rhodes Scholarship program, which sends students from around the world to study at England's Oxford University. American students will join peers from 14 other jurisdictions worldwide, including Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan and Southern Africa.

Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study with an average value of about $50,000 per year. Students selected this year will begin studies in October.

"When I heard it, it was like my vision zoomed out for a second. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it," Rodgers said.

Rodgers, a first-generation college student from a four-generation family of bricklayers, finished his classes at Pitt in April and is completing an undergraduate thesis this fall. He said he will graduate in December with degrees in biological sciences, history and philosophy of science and African studies, and a minor in chemistry.

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