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Winning a Rhodes Scholarship and a Marshall Scholarship

Aziza Zakhidova and Brett Shaheen

A pair of Penn seniors in the College of the School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School have won two of the country’s most prestigious scholarships.

Brett Shaheen, from St. Louis, Missouri, has been named a Rhodes Scholar,  and Aziza Zakhidova, from McKinney, Texas, has been named a Marshall Scholar. This year 32 Rhodes Scholarships and 43 Marshall Scholarships were awarded nationally.

Mr. Shaheen, who majors in international relations and economics, is editor-in-chief of Economica, an undergraduate journal of economics, the first journal of its kind in the Ivy League. He worked as a consultant for the Association for Rural Community Development in India last summer. Mr. Shaheen plans to pursue an M.Phil. in International Relations at Oxford University in England. He is the 18th Rhodes Scholar from Penn and the University’s third in the last six years.

Aziza Zakhidova, has been awarded the Marshall Scholarship. Ms. Zakhidova, who majors in international studies with a concentration in finance, is a student in Penn’s Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business. She wishes to pursue an M.Phil. in Development Studies at Oxford University. She is the eighth Marshall Scholar from Penn and the University’s fifth in the last six years.

Since being established in 2000, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) has assisted Penn students in applying for major scholarships such as the Rhodes and the Marshall. CURF Director Dr. Arthur D. Casciato said, “Aziza Zakhidova has more poise and presence than any other Penn student I’ve worked with in the last six years. Aziza made the most of Penn’s Huntsman and University Scholars programs, which together gave her the direction, mentorship, and research opportunities she needed to help her win her Marshall.  As a musician, athlete, leader, and student, Brett Shaheen, also a University Scholar, was a model candidate for the Rhodes, but I believe it was his bravery that made the difference. After not being awarded a Truman Scholarship last year, Brett had the courage to try again and, not only that, to learn from his experience in order to do his very best this time. I cannot say how much I admire these two extraordinary young people. With Aziza and Brett’s wonderful achievement, I think it is accurate to say that Penn is finally winning its fair share of these highly competitive awards.  Now we must aim even higher.”

The first time  two Penn students—Ari Alexander and Lipika Goyal—won the Rhodes and the Marshall in the same year was five years ago (Almanac December 12, 2000), and last year Gabe Mandujano and Harveen Bal were the first Penn students to win two Marshall Scholarships in the same year (Almanac December 7, 2004).


  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 14, December 6, 2005


December 6, 2005
Volume 52 Number 14


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