One of academia's most
coveted honors has been awarded to a Penn student. For the first time in
a decade, a Penn student has won a Rhodes Scholarship.
University Scholar Lipika Goyal, a twenty-one-year old, Biological
Basis of Behavior major in the College, is one of 32 winners selected Saturday
for the Rhodes Scholarship. Not since 1983 has Penn had both a Rhodes Scholar
and a Marshall Scholar in the same year. College senior Ari Alexander, an
American history major, has won a Marshall Scholarship this year.
"I was thrilled to hear the news that Lipika Goyal has won a Rhodes
Scholarship. In the best tradition of brilliant Penn scholars, Lippy has
demonstrated the drive and talent to link her academic pursuits to efforts
to promote international public health. She has already made a mark in Ghana
and in India, and the entire Penn community anticipates great things from
this warm, outgoing, and committed scholar. We wish her a happy and productive
time at Oxford, and a magnificent career," said President Judith Rodin.
Ms. Goyal, a senior with dual minors in chemistry and English, from Scotch
Plains, New Jersey, spent the past two summers conducting researching in
Ghana and India. In Ghana she spent six weeks investigating malaria and
sickle cell disease with two Penn professors, Dr. Kwaku Ohene-Frempong and
Dr. Harvey Rubin. In India, with Dr. Vinod Bhutani, she studied malnutrition
and the feasibility of a national program to distribute zinc supplements
in New Delhi.
She will use the scholarship to earn a M.Phil. in Development studies
at the University of Oxford in England in order to prepare for a career
in international public health. A Benjamin Franklin Scholar, Writing Advisor
and Pennquest leader, Ms. Goyal is also president of the John Morgan Pre-Health
Society. She is also a Habitat for Humanity volunteer and is active as a
hospital volunteer at HUP.
"Both Ari and Lipika have made Penn proud with these terrific recognitions
of both their scholarship and service," said Provost Robert Barchi.
"They embody the very highest ideals of our academic community and
we couldn't be more thrilled for each of them for their well deserved scholarships."
"Lipika Goyal is truly an exceptional student," said Dr. Art
Casciato, the director of Penn's new Center for Undergraduate Research and
"So is Ari Alexander. Lipika and Ari are also the exceptions that
prove the rule: Penn students are exceptional."
The Rhodes winners this year were chosen from 950 applicants endorsed
by 327 colleges and universities. Four students are selected from each of
eight regions in the U.S. Penn had two other finalists in this year's competition.
Penn's previous Rhodes Scholars in recent years include Theresa Simmonds
(a teacher at University City High School), who won a Rhodes in 1990, Joseph
M. Torsella (director of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia)
in 1985, Stephanie Dangel in 1984, Patrick M. Norton in 1969 and author
John Edgar Wideman in 1963. Prior to World War II there were ten Rhodes
Scholars at Penn.
Ari Alexander, the Marshall Scholarship recipient, is among 40
students nationwide who have won the 2001 British Marshall Scholarship for
two years of graduate study in the United Kingdom.
"It gives me enormous pleasure to extend my congratulations to Ari
Alexander, recipient of the distinguished Marshall Scholarship. Ari exemplifies
the quintessential Penn student: bright, highly motivated and deeply committed
to social issues and discourse. He makes all of us proud, and I wish him
the best as he embarks on this magnificent journey," said President
Mr. Alexander of Providence, Rhode Island, is a twenty-one-year-old senior
majoring in American History. Last year, Andrew March, another Penn undergraduate,
won a Marshall and is currently studying for a master of philosophy degree
in politics at Oxford University.
During the first year of his Marshall, Mr. Alexander will pursue a master
of arts degree in comparative ethnic conflict at The Queen's University
of Belfast. In his second year, he is considering a master of science degree
in comparative politics at the London School of Economics.
At Penn, Mr. Alexander founded both "Arab-Jewish Dialogue"
and "Confronting Cultural Issues on Campus," --organizations meant
to foster cross-cultural exchange and understanding, and served as co-chair
of "Alliance and Understanding," a group devoted to bringing together
the African-American and Jewish communities on campus. Mr. Alexander has
also served as the undergraduate student representative to President Judith
Rodin's Affirmative Action Council as well as the student consultant to
the Penn Public Talks Project.
In addition to Mr. Alexander and Mr. March, two other Penn students--Michael
Klarman in 1983 and Paul Borgese in 1989--have received a Marshall Scholarship.
Named in honor of the US Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Scholarships
are an expression of Britain's gratitude for economic assistance received
through the Marshall Plan after World War II. Funded by the British government
and administered by the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., the Marshall
Scholarship Program has become the largest single program for Americans
studying in Britain.