Five seniors from Yale College who excel academically and show commitment to their community are among 32 Americans who have been awarded prestigious Rhodes Scholarships to study next year at Oxford University in England.
Sophie M. Huttner, James A. (JT) Mullins and Ulystean J. (Jonathan) Oates, all of Silliman College; Henry Large of Davenport College; and Veer Sangha of Ezra Stiles College, will join an international group of scholars selected from more than 60 countries around the world for graduate studies at Oxford beginning October 2023. This year, over 100 Rhodes Scholars will be selected worldwide.
The Rhodes Scholarships cover all expenses for a two or three year degree at Oxford. Scholars are selected for their academic excellence, commitment to making a positive difference in the world, concern for the well-being of others, awareness of injustice, and promise of leadership.
More than 2,500 students began the application process that year, and 840 of them were supported by 244 colleges and universities. Selection committees in each of the 16 US districts then invited the strongest applicants to an interview, from which the 32 American scholarship recipients were selected. For the third consecutive year, the Rhodes Scholars have been elected entirely remotely, a practice that began with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“They already inspire us with their accomplishments, but even more so with their values-based leadership and selfless ambition to improve their communities and the world,” said Elliot F. Gerson, US Secretary of the Rhodes Trust.
The last time Yale had at least five Rhodes honorees was in 2012, according to Rebekah Westphal, director of the Office of Scholarships and Funding and associate dean of Yale College.
“This great news reflects the wonderful support all candidates have received from faculty and staff and many others over the past few months,” said Westphal.
Biographies of the Yale Rhodes Scholars follow.
Sophia Huttner, from Sarasota, Florida, is studying global affairs at Yale University, where much of her academic and service work focuses on issues such as gender, violence, and forced migration, with an emphasis on Latin America. She has worked as a volunteer interpreter for asylum seekers and community service in New Haven, taught English for the Bridges ESL (English as a Second Language) program at Yale, and last summer taught the Ulysses S. Scholarship program at Dwight Hall. She is President of the Yale Interpreters Network, where she helps provide free interpreting and translation services to nonprofit organizations throughout New Haven. In her free time, Huttner enjoys learning languages and taking part in Jewish life on campus. She plans to do the M.Sc. Degree in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from Oxford.
Henry Large is a Washington, DC major with a History and Spanish major. He is the captain of the Yale rugby team. Much of his academic and volunteer work focuses on issues related to Latin American migration crises, and he has translated for asylum seekers in Maryland, Connecticut, and California. Large traveled to Peru to do research for his thesis on the legacy of Hiram Bingham III, a Yale history professor best known for his now controversial excavations at Machu Picchu. He spent last summer as an intern at a USAID-funded NGO in Guatemala City, training with the Guatemalan national rugby team. Large will earn an M.Phil. Graduated from Oxford with Latin American Studies and plans to serve as an officer in the Marine Corps.
James (JT) Mullins
JT Mullins, from Hershey, Pennsylvania, is studying ethics, politics and economics and is also pursuing a certificate in statistics and data science. He was a fellow at the Institute for Responsible Citizenship and an intern with the Public Defender Service in Washington, DC Mullins has worked with the Center for Law and Social Policy and served as Co-President and Solidarity Chair of the Yale Black Men’s Union. As part of the Brady Johnson program in Grand Strategy, he conducted research on restorative justice reforms in Washington, DC. In his thesis he examined the abolition of prisons and police. At Oxford he will continue this work by earning an M.Sc. Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Ulystean J. (Jonathan) Oates
Jonathan Oates, from Knoxville, Tennessee, is studying Political Science and is interested in democratic theory and political reform. His thesis examines the relationship between democracy, equality and the dynamics of exclusion through the lens of Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”. He has worked extensively with Yale College Council as a senator and board member and has served as co-president of the Silliman Activities and Administrative Committee. He is enrolled in the Brady-Johnson Grand Strategy Program. Outside of Yale, Oates has worked for the nonprofit progressive research firms ThinkTennessee and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, and for the office of Congressman Jim Cooper, who represents a district that includes Nashville. Oates is a member of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship. At Oxford he will earn an M.Phil. Degree in Political Theory.
Veer Sangha, from Columbia, Missouri, is a computer science major. His academic work focuses on the ways in which artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to improve healthcare around the world. As a researcher at Yale’s Cardiovascular Data Science Lab, Sangha has played a key role in developing novel AI-powered technologies that make cardiovascular disease detection more accessible in resource-constrained settings around the world. He is a recipient of the American Heart Association’s prestigious Elizabeth Bartlett-Connor Research Award. On campus, he is involved in student cardiovascular prevention efforts. He will earn a D.Phil. Degree in Health Data Science from Oxford.
The Rhodes Scholarship was established in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes. To date, 3,610 Americans have won Rhodes Scholarships representing 327 colleges and universities. In 1976, women were able to apply for the first time. Among this year’s American winners are 16 women and 16 men.
Yale students interested in applying for next year’s Rhodes Scholarships should contact the Office of Fellowships and Funding. The deadlines begin in August 2023.