November 27, 2012

Two Cornell Students Named Rhodes Scholars

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Two Cornell students were among 32 Americans selected as Rhodes Scholars for 2013, according to the scholarship program’s website.

Christopher “Kit” Dobyns ’13 and Daniel Young ’13 will join about 85 students worldwide as members of this year’s Rhodes Scholars class. The Rhodes Scholarship –– the oldest international fellowship program in the world –– finances two years of graduate study at Oxford University in England, according to its website.

Dobyns is an Africana studies major with minors in inequality studies and law and society. He hopes to pursue a master’s degree in refugee and forced migration studies, according to a University press release.

“I was incredibly humbled when I heard I had been chosen. Studying at Oxford will greatly enrich my life’s work, and I know that such an opportunity would not have been possible without the support that I received from my professors,” he said in the press release.

Dobyns, a scholar of Kiswahili and Zulu, has taught English in Rwanda and worked at an orphanage in Tanzania. He has also developed a curriculum for South Africa’s National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities and another on human rights abuses for a high school in Rwanda, according to the Rhodes Scholarship website.

Additionally, Dobyns founded a company that distributes low-cost energy in rural Nigeria and a non-profit that provides consulting to social entrepreneurs, according to the website.

Young, who is a member of the University’s College Scholars program, is a philosophy major with a minor in South Asian studies. He plans to obtain a master’s-equivalent degree in philosophy at Oxford in the hopes of pursuing a career as a philosophy professor, according to the University press release.

“I’m thrilled that the Rhodes Trust has decided to support me in my efforts to learn more about philosophy and social critique. My education so far has been a highly collective endeavor … I’d like to thank all my .. professors as well as my friends and family, who have helped shape me into a better person,” he said in the press release.

Young spent last semester in Nepal conducting research on social activism in the “untouchable” castes. At Cornell, he is an active member of the Prison Education Program, which offers liberal arts courses to people incarcerated in maximum- and medium-security prisons, according to the Rhodes Scholarship website.

Young, a native of Charlottesville, Va., is also a member of Cornell Outdoor Education and the Cornell Glee Club.

Dobyns and Young were selected from a pool of 838 applicants who are enrolled at 302 colleges and universities around the world, according to the Rhodes Scholarship website. They will enter Oxford in Fall 2013.

Original Author: Kerry Close