Four Black women are among 32 American winners of Rhodes Scholarships for graduate study at Oxford University in England.
The scholarships, which provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the university, could also allow funding in some instances for four years.
The scholarships were created in 1902 in the will of Cecil Rhodes and being named a Rhodes Scholar is considered among the highest honors that can be won by a U.S. college student.
The four Black scholars named in December are:
Kristine E. Guillaume of Forest Hills, New York, is a senior at Harvard University, where she is majoring in history and literature, and in African and African American studies. Guillaume is the first Black woman president of the Harvard Crimson, the independent daily, student-run newspaper. At the University of Oxford, she will pursue a master’s degree in English and American studies, and a master’s degree in U.S. history.
Wanjiku N. Gatheru is a senior at the University of Connecticut. She is a first-generation American of Kenyan descent and the first Rhodes Scholar ever elected from the University of Connecticut. Her major is in environmental studies, and she has minors in global studies and in urban and community studies, all with a perfect academic record. Gatheru was previously honored as a Truman Scholar and a Udall Scholar. At Oxford, she plans to study for a master’s degree in nature, society and environmental governance and a master’s degree in evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation.
Megan A. Yamoah is a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology majoring in physics and electrical engineering. Her research expertise is in quantum computing for which she has received competitive funding awards. She serves on the executive board of MIT Undergraduate Women in Physics and as the president of the MIT Society of Physics Students. The daughter of immigrants, she is passionate about connecting entrepreneurs from around the world with the resources required to scale their ideas to impact. At Oxford, Yamoah will pursue a master’s degree in economics.
Arielle C.T. Hudson is a senior at the University of Mississippi majoring in English. She is the president of the Black Student Union, and as a senator in the Associated Student Body Government, co-authored a resolution to remove a Confederate statue from campus. At Oxford, Hudson plans to pursue a master’s degree in education and a master’s degree in comparative social policy. After Oxford, Hudson will return to Mississippi to teach in the public schools and also hopes to attend law school.