Two Yalies, J.T. Flowers ’17 and Daniel Judt ’18, were among 32 Americans chosen to represent the United States as Rhodes scholars, according to a Nov. 18 announcement.
Rhodes Scholarships cover all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England for roughly 100 people worldwide. Flowers — whose senior thesis for the political science major examined gaps in sanctuary city policy for undocumented immigrants in his hometown of Portland, Oregon — will study Comparative Social Policy at Oxford. Judt, who plans to become an intellectual historian after he finishes his bachelor’s degree in history at Yale, will study for a master’s degree in history. Both students will begin at Oxford in October 2018.
Flowers and Judt were selected in a two-stage process, which requires applicants to first receive endorsements from their respective college or university. This year, over 2,500 applied for their institution’s endorsement, and 866 entered the second stage after receiving endorsements from 299 different academic institutions. Four Harvard undergraduates and one Princeton undergraduate were among those selected as Rhodes scholars, as well as one student from Yale-NUS, Nicholas Carverhill NUS ’17.
According to Director of the Yale Office of Fellowship Programs Rebekah Westphal, each year committees consisting of faculty members, staff members and deans interview candidates during the first week of September to decide whom to endorse. She declined to comment on the number of Yale students who applied for or received endorsements.
Yale students applying for the Rhodes scholarship usually start the application process spring of their junior years, since the first deadline for endorsements is in August. It takes time for candidates to complete “cohesive applications” and pull together the necessary recommendations, Westphal told the News.
During his time at Yale, Flowers played varsity basketball and participated in “A Leg Even,” an organization designed to help low-income students succeed academically and professionally. A first-generation college graduate, Flowers also helped the University implement changes to its financial aid system. After graduation, he worked in the office of U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., in Portland.
Judt, a senior at Yale, co-founded and serves as editor in chief of Brink, a literary journal inspired by the New York Review of Books. He has also taught literature, French and English to New Haven high school students, as well as adult refugees in Paris.
Judt, who found out he had been selected as a Rhodes scholar at the end of a full-day interview process on Nov. 18, told the News that he was “thrilled” and “shocked.” Although he said he hopes to continue the academic work he started in Yale’s history department, he also expressed excitement at the possibility of exploring new areas of interest.
“One of the amazing things about the Rhodes is that scholars are encouraged to range widely in their studies and broaden their interests — and not to focus on their careers,” Judt said. “My hope is to branch out and find some new academic interests I never knew I had.”
The American Rhodes Scholars Class of 2018, whose members were independently selected by 16 committees around the country, includes ten African Americans, the highest number in the United States Rhodes Scholarship’s 115-year history. In addition, one of the members of the class was the second self-acknowledged transgender student to be chosen as a Rhodes Scholar.
Women became eligible to apply for the Rhodes in 1976.
Adelaide Feibel | firstname.lastname@example.org
This story is updated to reflect the print version that ran on Nov. 27, 2017.