Nov 23

Three from Harvard receive American Rhodes Scholarships

The Harvard University Gazette, November 23, 2008

Two Harvard College students and a Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) doctoral student have received Rhodes Scholarships. Thirty-two Americans were chosen from among 800 applicants for the scholarships to the University of Oxford in England.

Kyle Q. Haddad-Fonda

Kyle Q. Haddad-Fonda, Issaquah, Wash., is a senior at Harvard College where he majors in history and near-Eastern languages and civilizations. Well-versed in Mandarin and Arabic, the Pforzheimer House resident conducted research in China and Egypt for his senior thesis on Sino-Arab relations. Haddad-Fonda was captain of the Harvard 2008 National College Bowl Championship team and plays the harp in the Mozart Society Orchestra. He plans to do a doctorate in Oriental studies at Oxford.

“I’m absolutely thrilled at the prospect of studying at Oxford next year,” he said, “and humbled by the caliber of the other students who went through the process as well.”

Haddad-Fonda said an early interest in geography and “the world and understanding other places” led him to his concentration. Current events, like the recent deal between Iraq and China in excess of $3 billion that will allow China to develop an oil field southeast of Baghdad, he noted, point to the increasing importance of Sino-Arab connections.

While at Oxford, he plans to continue his research and explore how this and other connections have developed in recent times.

“It’s a topic that is very current and very important. And it’s something that I want to understand and to understand in a historic perspective as well.” (…)

Elliot F. Gerson, American secretary of the Rhodes Trust, in a press release called the Rhodes Scholarships “the oldest and best-known award for international study, and arguably the most famous academic award available to American college graduates.” The scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. The first class of American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904; those chosen this weekend will enter Oxford in October 2009.

Gerson said 3,164 Americans have won Rhodes Scholarships, representing 309 colleges and universities. The number of Harvard College students who have won American Rhodes Scholarships is now 323, more than from any other college. That number does not include Rhodes Scholars who were Harvard students who were citizens of other countries, and also does not include scholars who were selected while attending Harvard’s graduate schools.

In addition to the 32 Americans, Rhodes Scholars will also be selected from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the nations of the Commonwealth Caribbean, Germany, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa (South Africa, plus Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, and Swaziland), Zambia, and Zimbabwe. About 80 Rhodes Scholars are selected worldwide each year. Some countries have not yet announced their Rhodes Scholars.

The value of the Rhodes Scholarships varies depending on the academic field and the degree (B.A., master’s, doctoral) chosen. The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university fees, provides a stipend to cover necessary expenses while in residence in Oxford as well as during vacations, and transportation to and from England. Gerson estimates that the total value of the scholarship averages approximately $50,000 per year.

2 from region named Rhodes scholars

The Associated Press, by Dan Robrish, Monday, November 24, 2008

An Issaquah man who is studying history and Chinese and Arabic languages at Harvard University is among this year’s winners of the Rhodes Scholarship.

Kyle Q. Haddad-Fonda joins Mallory A. Dwinal, of Gig Harbor, and 30 other men and women from across the United States in winning the prestigious scholarships for study at England’s Oxford University.

The winners – announced publicly on Sunday – were picked from 769 applicants endorsed by 207 colleges and universities nationwide. The scholarships are the oldest of the international-study awards available to American students. They provide two or three years of study at Oxford University in England, commencing in October.

Haddad-Fonda, 22, grew up in Bellevue and graduated from Lakeside School in Seattle, where he studied Chinese and learned to play the harp. He plays in Harvard’s student orchestra and served as captain of the school’s College Bowl team, for the academic-oriented quiz competition along the lines of “Jeopardy!”

His senior thesis at Harvard focused on China-Arab relations in the 1950s. He plans to pursue the British equivalent of a doctorate in Asian studies. (…)

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