US Rhodes scientists for 2022 include a record number of women

The class of US Rhodes scholars for 2022 includes the largest number of women ever selected for the grant in a single year, the Rhodes Trust announced on Sunday. Of the 32 students chosen to study at Oxford University in England, 22 are women, the office of the US secretary of the trust said in a statement. One of the women selected is Louise Franke, a 21-year-old senior who is studying biochemistry at Clemson University in South Carolina. Franke said she hopes to combine her interests in science and public policy through a career in health care policy. She plans to study politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford. Franke, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, is also the first Clemson student elected to a Rhodes class. She cited her mentors and various academic programs at the school as integral to her success. “It feels great to be part of this historic moment, as a woman and as a woman from the South,” Franke said. “I don’t really have the words for it.” Also among the winners is Devashish Basnet, a senior political science student at Hunter College in New York City. Basnet arrived in the United States as a 7-year-old asylum seeker from Nepal and spent much of his childhood in immigration courts, an experience he says helped focus his interests on immigration policy. Basnet, now 22, of Hicksville, New York, said he was proud to represent the communities he came from, especially as a product of New York City public schools. “I definitely blacked out. It didn’t feel real,” Basnet said the moment he learned he’d won the prestigious honor through Zoom. The selection process has been virtually completed for the second year in a row as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In an otherwise empty classroom at Princeton University, Josh Babu began to cry when he heard his name read. The 21-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, planned to enter medical school next year to become a doctor for the LGBTQ population, a calling he found in college after becoming gay in what he described as a conservative environment. But a Rhodes scholarship will help Babu embark on a policy career that will touch the lives of many more queer and transgender people, he said. His master’s thesis examines the health benefits of gender-affirming medical care for transgender children. That kind of research is needed, Babu said, as some state lawmakers have tried to mitigate such concern. “This now gives me the opportunity to participate in health policy and actually bring about change at that level” that is “much more widespread and far-reaching”. Three schools – Claremont McKenna College, Mount Holyoke College and Union College – have a recipient for the first time in at least 25 years. All 32 scientists were due to start in Oxford in October. The scholarship covers the financial costs of attending the school. Applicants must be approved by their college or university. Selection committees from 16 U.S. districts then select and interview finalists before choosing two students from each district.

The class of US Rhodes scholars for 2022 includes the largest number of women ever selected for the grant in a single year, the Rhodes Trust announced on Sunday.

Of the 32 students chosen to study at Oxford University in England, 22 are women, the office of the trust’s US secretary said in a statement.

One of the women selected is Louise Franke, a 21-year-old senior who is studying biochemistry at Clemson University in South Carolina. Franke said she hopes to combine her interests in science and public policy through a career in health care policy. She plans to study politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford.

Franke, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, is also the first Clemson student elected to a Rhodes class. She cited her mentors and various academic programs at the school as integral to her success.

“It feels great to be part of this historic moment, as a woman and as a woman from the South,” Franke said. “I don’t really have the words for it.”

Emily Bowling/Courtesy of The Rhodes Trust via AP

This photo from The Rhodes Trust shows Louise Franke in Clemson, SC, on March 15, 2021.

Also among the winners is Devashish Basnet, a senior political science student at Hunter College in New York City. Basnet arrived in the United States as a 7-year-old asylum seeker from Nepal and spent much of his childhood in immigration courts, an experience he says helped focus his interest in immigration policy.

Basnet, now 22, of Hicksville, New York, said he was proud to represent the communities he came from, especially as a product of New York City public schools.

“I definitely blacked out. It didn’t feel real,” Basnet said of hearing he’d won the prestigious honor at Zoom.

Due to the corona pandemic, the selection process has been virtually completed for the second year in a row.

In an otherwise empty classroom at Princeton University, Josh Babu began to cry when he heard his name read. The 21-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, planned to enter medical school next year to become a doctor for the LGBTQ population, a calling he found in college after growing up gay in what he described as a conservative environment.

But a scholarship to Rhodes will help Babu embark on a policy career that will touch the lives of many more queer and transgender people, he said. His master’s thesis examines the health benefits of gender-affirming medical care for transgender children. That kind of research is needed, Babu said, as some state lawmakers have tried to mitigate such concern.

“I just hoped to become a doctor for queer, trans patients,” Babu said. “This now gives me the opportunity to work in health policy and actually bring about change at that level” that is “much more widespread and far-reaching”.

Three schools — Claremont McKenna College, Mount Holyoke College and Union College — have a recipient for the first time in at least 25 years.

All 32 scientists were due to start in Oxford in October. The scholarship covers the financial costs of attending the school.

Applicants must be approved by their college or university. Selection committees from 16 U.S. districts then select and interview finalists before choosing two students from each district.

.

Leave a Comment