Honors & Other Things

Rhodes & Marshall Scholarship Winners | Scaglione Publication Award

2001 Rhodes and Marshall Scholarship Winners

One of academia's most coveted honors has been awarded to a Penn student. For the first time in a decade, a Penn student has won a Rhodes Scholarship.

University Scholar Lipika Goyal, a twenty-one-year old, Biological Basis of Behavior major in the College, is one of 32 winners selected Saturday for the Rhodes Scholarship. Not since 1983 has Penn had both a Rhodes Scholar and a Marshall Scholar in the same year. College senior Ari Alexander, an American history major, has won a Marshall Scholarship this year.

"I was thrilled to hear the news that Lipika Goyal has won a Rhodes Scholarship. In the best tradition of brilliant Penn scholars, Lippy has demonstrated the drive and talent to link her academic pursuits to efforts to promote international public health. She has already made a mark in Ghana and in India, and the entire Penn community anticipates great things from this warm, outgoing, and committed scholar. We wish her a happy and productive time at Oxford, and a magnificent career," said President Judith Rodin.

Ms. Goyal, a senior with dual minors in chemistry and English, from Scotch Plains, New Jersey, spent the past two summers conducting researching in Ghana and India. In Ghana she spent six weeks investigating malaria and sickle cell disease with two Penn professors, Dr. Kwaku Ohene-Frempong and Dr. Harvey Rubin. In India, with Dr. Vinod Bhutani, she studied malnutrition and the feasibility of a national program to distribute zinc supplements in New Delhi.

She will use the scholarship to earn a M.Phil. in Development studies at the University of Oxford in England in order to prepare for a career in international public health. A Benjamin Franklin Scholar, Writing Advisor and Pennquest leader, Ms. Goyal is also president of the John Morgan Pre-Health Society. She is also a Habitat for Humanity volunteer and is active as a hospital volunteer at HUP.

"Both Ari and Lipika have made Penn proud with these terrific recognitions of both their scholarship and service," said Provost Robert Barchi. "They embody the very highest ideals of our academic community and we couldn't be more thrilled for each of them for their well deserved scholarships."

"Lipika Goyal is truly an exceptional student," said Dr. Art Casciato, the director of Penn's new Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.

"So is Ari Alexander. Lipika and Ari are also the exceptions that prove the rule: Penn students are exceptional."

The Rhodes winners this year were chosen from 950 applicants endorsed by 327 colleges and universities. Four students are selected from each of eight regions in the U.S. Penn had two other finalists in this year's competition.

Penn's previous Rhodes Scholars in recent years include Theresa Simmonds (a teacher at University City High School), who won a Rhodes in 1990, Joseph M. Torsella (director of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia) in 1985, Stephanie Dangel in 1984, Patrick M. Norton in 1969 and author John Edgar Wideman in 1963. Prior to World War II there were ten Rhodes Scholars at Penn.

Ari Alexander, the Marshall Scholarship recipient, is among 40 students nationwide who have won the 2001 British Marshall Scholarship for two years of graduate study in the United Kingdom.

"It gives me enormous pleasure to extend my congratulations to Ari Alexander, recipient of the distinguished Marshall Scholarship. Ari exemplifies the quintessential Penn student: bright, highly motivated and deeply committed to social issues and discourse. He makes all of us proud, and I wish him the best as he embarks on this magnificent journey," said President Judith Rodin.

Mr. Alexander of Providence, Rhode Island, is a twenty-one-year-old senior majoring in American History. Last year, Andrew March, another Penn undergraduate, won a Marshall and is currently studying for a master of philosophy degree in politics at Oxford University.

During the first year of his Marshall, Mr. Alexander will pursue a master of arts degree in comparative ethnic conflict at The Queen's University of Belfast. In his second year, he is considering a master of science degree in comparative politics at the London School of Economics.

At Penn, Mr. Alexander founded both "Arab-Jewish Dialogue" and "Confronting Cultural Issues on Campus," --organizations meant to foster cross-cultural exchange and understanding, and served as co-chair of "Alliance and Understanding," a group devoted to bringing together the African-American and Jewish communities on campus. Mr. Alexander has also served as the undergraduate student representative to President Judith Rodin's Affirmative Action Council as well as the student consultant to the Penn Public Talks Project.

In addition to Mr. Alexander and Mr. March, two other Penn students--Michael Klarman in 1983 and Paul Borgese in 1989--have received a Marshall Scholarship.

Named in honor of the US Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Scholarships are an expression of Britain's gratitude for economic assistance received through the Marshall Plan after World War II. Funded by the British government and administered by the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., the Marshall Scholarship Program has become the largest single program for Americans studying in Britain.

Rhodes & Marshall Scholarship Winners | Scaglione Publication Award

Scaglione Publication Award: Dr. Kirkham

The University of Michigan Press will receive the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award from the Modern Language Association of America for a book by Dr. Victoria Kirkham, professor of Romance Languages. The book titled Fabulous Vernacular: Boccaccio's Filocolo and the Art of Medieval Ficition is scheduled to be published in 2001. The committee's citation for the winning manuscript reads: "Victoria Kirkham's study of the Filocolo, Boccaccio's early prose romance, makes an important contribution of Boccaccio scholarship and medieval studies. Dr. Kirkham argues that the Filocolo presents a coherent message of Christian Conversion. She convincingly explains its spiritual allegory and explicates the most important episodes, including the famous questioni d'amore, in the context of the incredibly complied story to which they belong.The book is a tour de force, and most impressive in Kirkham's wonderful prose style--clear, rhetorically sophisticated, and entertaining."

Rhodes & Marshall Scholarship Winners | Scaglione Publication Award

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 15, December 12, 2000