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November 25, 2009

Pitt alum wins Rhodes

Recent Pitt graduate Eleanor M. Ott has been selected as one of 32 Rhodes Scholars representing the United States. Rhodes-ott

Rhodes scholarships cover all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. The scholars named last weekend will enter Oxford in October 2010.

Ott was selected from among 805 candidates representing 326 different colleges and universities. She is the University’s sixth Rhodes Scholar.

Pitt is the only public institution in Pennsylvania with a 2010 Rhodes Scholar; Swarthmore College is the only other institution in the state with a 2010 Rhodes winner.

The scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes. Criteria for selection are high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor.

The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university fees, transportation expenses to and from England and provides a stipend to cover expenses while in residence in Oxford. The value of the scholarship varies by program, but is estimated at  $50,000- $175,000.

Ott, of Lawrence, Kansas, did research in nuclear and radiochemistry at Pitt and graduated in April summa cum laude, with majors in chemistry, history and French. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in forced migration at Oxford.

Since graduating Ott has worked as a Truman Scholar at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on projects relating to teenage pregnancy prevention, refugee resettlement, and domestic violence prevention. She was awarded the Truman scholarship in 2008.

At Pitt, Ott was co-president for FORGEPitt (Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Empowerment), a refugee advocacy organization that she helped found in 2005. She also worked with the English as a Second Language program at Schenley High School.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 42 Issue 7

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