A Global Rhodes for Penn

University of Pennsylvania senior Adamseged Abebe of Gondar, Ethiopia, has been awarded an inaugural Global Rhodes Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Oxford. He is one of two chosen from countries around the world for the new award, which allows exceptional students who are from countries not historically eligible to apply. 

One of the most prestigious academic honors, the Rhodes is highly competitive and draws candidates from approximately 60 countries. The new Global Rhodes Scholarships extend the opportunity to the rest of the world, subject to eligibility and university nomination. 

“We are so very proud that Adamseged Abebe—Adam to his friends at Penn—is one of the two inaugural Global Rhodes Scholars,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “An interdisciplinary approach to global health and non-profit leadership has steered Adam to conduct essential research, making an impact for vulnerable populations in Malawi while mentoring Ethiopian children during the summer.

“His compassion and determination to help others throughout the world is the essential embodiment of a global citizen at Penn. Adam wants to make a difference in the world, and I could not be more confident that he will, aided by this well-deserved recognition as a Global Rhodes.”  

Mr. Abebe is enrolled in a sub-matriculation program that will allow him to complete his bachelor’s in health and societies from the School of Arts and Sciences, along with a master’s in non-profit leadership from the School of Social Policy & Practice. 

He has conducted research on mitochondrial proteins at Penn Medicine; HIV/AIDS, mental health and population health in Malawi; and the impact of Chinese investment on Ethiopian infrastructure. He has also served as a teacher and a mentor for children at a non-profit school in Ethiopia for the past three summers. 

A Penn World Scholar, a Perry World House Student Fellow, a Lipman Family Prize Fellow and a Paul Robeson and Anna Julia Cooper Scholar, Mr. Abebe has served as a founder and president of the Society of African Internationals. He’s also participated in the Undergraduate Urban Research Colloquium through Penn’s Institute for Urban Research, and is a member of Alpha Phi Omega. Currently, he’s studying abroad in Brazil through the International Honors Program.

At Oxford, Mr. Abebe will pursue a master’s degree in international development.

Mr. Abebe applied for the Rhodes Scholarship with assistance from Penn’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. The 2019 award brings the number of Penn Rhodes Scholars to 28. 

Penn senior Anea Moore was recently named a 2019 American Rhodes Scholar (Almanac November 20, 2018).