Blair alumna named Rhodes Scholar

Nov. 21, 2007, midnight | By Monica Wei | 16 years, 6 months ago

Graduate receives scholarship to Oxford University

Blair graduate Melis Anahtar was selected as a 2008 Rhodes Scholar, winning a prestigious graduate scholarship to Oxford University in England.

Anahtar, a 2004 graduate of Blair's magnet program, is one of 32 recipients across the U.S. and the third Blair alumnus to win a Rhodes Scholarship. Two 2002 Blair graduates, William L. Hwang and Rahul Satija, won this honor in 2005.

The Rhodes Scholarship, established in 1902 through the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, entitles each winner to two to three years of free tuition for study at Oxford University, including other expenses. Winners are selected based on personal qualities, academic achievement and leadership ability.

Currently a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Anahtar majors in mechanical engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering. She hopes to pursue a dual master's degree in Global Health Science and Integrated Immunology at Oxford University.

As a student at Blair, Anahtar placed as a finalist in the Intel Talent Search for a microfluidic device she developed as part of her magnet Senior Research Project. This innovation also won her first place in Engineering at the 2004 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Earlier this year, Glamour magazine recognized Anahtar as one of the Top Ten College Women of 2007. She won the L'Oreal Beauty of Giving Award, in which she was awarded $2,500 to donate to a charity, and was most recently a finalist for the Marshall Scholarship, which finances up to 40 Americans annually to study in the United Kingdom.

Anahtar is thrilled about the educational experiences the Rhodes Scholarship presents and looks forward to life in England. "I am really excited to have the opportunity to live abroad and learn how research and medicine are done outside of the U.S.," she said.

This year, 764 students across the nation applied for the scholarship. The two-part process includes being endorsed by the applicant's university and a state or the District of Columbia, as well as the standard essay and recommendation letters, according to the scholarship web site. The Committee of Selection then interviews the strongest applicants to determine the finalists.

Previous Rhodes scholars include former president Bill Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, ABC reporter George Stephanopoulos, former Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes and New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristoff.

Globally, approximately 85 Rhodes scholarships are awarded each year.

Monica Wei. Monica is an unfortunate piece of fruit that has been suspended in a gelatin cup. Okay, not really, but sometimes she feels like one. Monica the strawberry chunk enjoys reading, sitting in trees and watching the clouds go by. She thinks that anything tastes good … More »

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