Rhodes scholarship goes to 4 students
Agrawal, from West Lafayette, Ind., made headlines in November last year when he won the Mitchell Scholarship. After graduating from the University with an A.B. in mathematics, Agrawal traveled to the National University of Ireland in Galway, where he has been studying economic policy.
One of his inspirations for applying to the Mitchell and the Rhodes, Agrawal said, was to broaden his academic perspective.
“Even coming from a school like Princeton, I think there’s still a lot more to learn from other people,” he said, adding that he has admired the international focus in Ireland. “This is a country of four and a half million people —that’s fewer than my state of Indiana.”
Agrawal’s interest in international affairs can be traced to his work at Princeton as co-president of Engineers Without Borders. After his sophomore year, Agrawal traveled to Ghana with a group of EWB students to design and build a library.
“That really opened my eyes to what can be done in development,” he said. “I see the problems, I try to engage them and I feel like there’s so much more than can be done from the other side that we see in the policy-making arena.”
Last year, Agrawal was also named a finalist for the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships, but he decided that the Mitchell was better fitted to his interest in macroeconomics and policy and would allow him to begin working on a Ph.D. after the one-year program ended. At Oxford, he plans to pursue a DPhil. in financial economics.
Butterworth, a classics concentrator from Auburn, Mass., will study comparative and international education at Oxford. She will then return to the United States to work on education policy.
“Seeing how education works in the United Kingdom, I’ll also be able to do research projects looking at a variety of different school systems and policies in both Europe and America and the developing world,” she explained. “I’m hoping to get a sense for what works and what doesn’t work internationally and bring that back to thinking about how we can create change in the United States — and also how the education system in the United States is preparing students to become part of an international society and economy.”
But while Butterworth is interested in education policy, she also recognizes the importance of getting classroom experience. She took a year off from Princeton from January 2009 to January 2010 to start a program in Worchester, Mass., that offered free music lessons and provided instruments to kids from low-income areas.
“I loved working with the students and seeing the impact that the program had on the students, so I’m really interested especially in arts education, and making sure that arts education is available — even in school districts where it seems like arts education is the first thing to go when it comes to budget cuts,” she said.
According to classics professor Denis Feeney, Butterworth “could easily have gone on to do research in classics with a view to becoming a professor.”
“But it is good news that she is going into a career in education policy, and her energy and vision are bound to have a true impact,” he added.
Classics professor Yelena Baraz, who served as Butterworth’s academic adviser sophomore year and is now her thesis adviser, agreed.
“It is to be admired that Liz wants to put her talents to the service of studying education policy and of developing art programs, something that many children and young people in this country can truly benefit from,” she said in an email.
Rosenbaum is a student in the Wilson School interested in health equity and healthcare policy. Coming from the Bronx, N.Y., Rosenbaum grew up in an orthodox Jewish community. Her religious background has informed her scholarly and extracurricular pursuits, which revolve around topics of ethics.
On campus, she is president of SHARE and was a co-chair of the Religious Life Council, Princeton’s interfaith dialogue group. After she graduates, she plans to study bioethics for two years at Oxford, then return to the University to pursue a master’s degree in public affairs.
Rosenbaum said that she hopes she will be able to use the ethics training and economic public affairs training she will receive at Oxford to “be an advocate for populations that are generally marginalized.”
Some of the questions she wants to explore include “what you fund, and what do you not fund, specifically what happens with marginalized populations that often are the most expensive — the elderly and the disabled,” she explained.
Wilson School visiting professor Hugh Price, who worked with Rosenbaum in his task force last year, praised Rosenbaum’s passion for learning and her devotion to topics that interest her.
“I think what’s really striking is her search for knowledge and how she goes above and beyond the call of duty to understand and research issues, read materials that aren’t required for the course, and attend symposia that are not part of the curriculum of the course,” he said in an email. “She even reads the New England Journal of Medicine in her spare time, which is quite remarkable.”
When Stuth was 16, she left her home in Hubertus, Wis., to study at the United World College in Hong Kong. There, she shared her room with a Hong Kong native, learned to speak Chinese and joined the Chinese dance team.
“That’s really where my interest in China came from,” Stuth explained.
After her freshman year at the University, Stuth co-founded and directed a 10-day conference that brought together Iraqi and U.S. students. That conference, along with her previous study abroad experience in China, helped Astrid realize that she was “really taken by the idea of exchange.” In her Rhodes application, she emphasized the idea of being a “bridge” — and it is this idea that motivates her to pursue a career in public diplomacy, with a special emphasis on U.S.-China relations.
“I really enjoy being in China, and I enjoy talking about the different perspectives that Americans and Chinese have about different things, and trying to find a common understanding, or a way that we can get along,” Stuth said. “I enjoy the human connection aspect.”
Professor Benjamin Elman, chair of the East Asian Studies department, has taught Stuth and said that she did “exceptionally well in analyzing the changing nature of ‘Asian Studies’ in the West." He added that she "very cogently analyzed the troubling aspects of Orientalism, imperialism and colonialism that accompanied the ‘rise of the West’ to global preeminence by 1900.”
“She is arguably the best undergraduate student I have worked with since coming to Princeton in 2002,” he said.
Stuth will continue working toward a career in diplomacy by studying international relations at Oxford.
This year’s winners bring Princeton’s total Rhodes Scholar tally to 199 since the Rhodes Trust was established in 1902. This year also marks another important milestone for female Rhodes winners at Princeton, since no women have won since 2003. Of the four 2012 Princeton Rhodes Scholars, three are women.
Of the 32 American Rhodes Scholars selected, Brown and Harvard both had four winners, like Princeton. One winner was affiliated with Yale Law School and Bard College, and one with Yale. Stanford had the most Rhodes winners, with a total of five.