10 Yalies win prestigious scholarships for study 'across the pond'

Bess Connolly Martell
Yale News

This year, 10 Yale students — six seniors and four alumni — were named as Rhodes or Marshall Scholars, two of the most coveted academic awards for study in Great Britain.

Three Yale seniors and one alumnus were awarded 4 out of 32 Rhodes Scholarships awarded in 2014, the most of any other college or university. The students were chosen out of a pool of 877 students nominated by 305 colleges and universities nationwide.

Six Yalies — three seniors and three alumni — were recognized with Marshall Scholarships. This is the highest number of Marshall Scholarships awarded to Yale students in a single year in over 30 years.

Rhodes Scholarships

Among the most prestigious awards for international study, Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 at the bequest of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes. The award provides all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England to those students who best exemplify “academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness and leadership potential.”

Matthew J. Townsend ’15 is majoring in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. Elected as a junior to Phi Beta Kappa, he has a perfect academic record across the sciences, economics, and Latin. He is also a two-year starter on the Yale Varsity Basketball Team, where he won the award as the top defensive player. Townsend is co-coordinator of the Hunger and Homelessness Action Project's Bringing Relief Every Day project. At Oxford, Townsend plans to pursue an M.Sc. in medical anthropology

Gabriel M. Zucker ’12 who graduated summa cum laude, majored in ethics, politics and economics, as well as in music. He won many major awards for character and service as well as scholarship. After Yale, he worked at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty “Action Lab,” conducting fieldwork in Pakistan and Indonesia. For the past year, he has been associate director of the Connecticut Heroes Project, a campaign to end veteran homelessness in Connecticut. As an undergraduate, Zucker had run Yale’s Hunger and Homelessness Action Project. He is a professional pianist, bandleader, singer-songwriter, and producer. A work he composed for symphony orchestra and big band premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2012. Before pursuing a Ph.D. in economics, Zucker plans to earn a M.Sc. in evidence-based social intervention and policy at Oxford.

Jordan R. Konell ’15 majors in African-American studies and political science. In Philadelphia, he has worked in the Public Interest Law Center and as a community organizer. In New Haven, Konell is the former director of Community Health Educators, the largest community organization on campus. He serves as president of the Pierson College Council, was a summer fellow for the American Federation of Teachers, and is a director’s fellow of the Yale Institute for Social Policy Studies. He is also a jazz trombonist. Konell will seek a M.Phil. in comparative social policy at Oxford with a focus on the intersection of race and policy.

Jane Darby Menton ’15 is majoring in history and global affairs. As managing editor of the Yale Daily News, she is a member of the three-person management team that makes all of the major decisions for the paper and reads and edits all of its stories. Menton, who won the Thouron Prize for a summer fellowship to Cambridge University, has also interned for "Anderson Cooper 360," and is a member of the Yale International Relations Association. She also was the conference organizer for the Yale Model United Nations Organization. Menton intends to do the M.Phil. in modern eastern studies at Oxford.

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