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rhodesEach year the Rhodes Trust awards exceptional postgraduate students with a scholarship to pursue studies in all fields at the prestigious University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world.  The competition for the coveted honor is tough, but this year, five African-Americans intellectual talents have received the scholarship and are on their way to leaving their imprint, according to The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

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The candidates chosen were elected from a pool of about 877 potentials who were endorsed by 305 various schools of education. Only 32 American Rhodes Scholars were selected, and here are the five African Americans who were chosen to attend Oxford:

Robert A. Fisher (pictured far left):  A senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga majoring in political science, Fisher, who is also his school’s student body president, has managed to maintain a perfect academic record. He plans on pursuing a Master’s in comparative social policy.

Rachel Harmon (pictured second from left):  The Champaign, Ill., resident attends Cornell University and is in her senior year.  Majoring in industrial and labor relations, Harmon plans on getting her Master’s in social policy.

Ridwan Y. Hassen (pictured third from left):  In his last year at Dartmouth College majoring in computer science with an emphasis on neuroscience, Hassen’s parents are Somalian and Ethiopian refugees.  The young member of his school’s Endurance Racing Team plans on furthering his studies by obtaining a Master’s in public policy.

Tayo A. Sanders (pictured second from right): Sanders, who is a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire senior who is majoring in Materials Science, is no stranger to scholarships. He is the recipient of the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship and has already done research at the University of Strasbourg in France.  Sanders wants to obtain a Ph.D. also on materials science at Oxford.

Sarah E. Yermina (pictured far right):  As a Princeton University senior majoring in sociology, Yermina wants to enter the two-year Master’s program in politics at Oxford then pursue a J.D./Ph.D. to become a law professor.

Congratulations, future leaders!

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5 African Americans Named Rhodes Scholars  was originally published on