Make That a Rhodes Sextet

Scholars from Canada and South Africa boost Harvard's 2012 Rhodes class to half a dozen.

Two international students from Harvard have won 2012 Rhodes Scholarships for two to three years of study at Oxford University, joining the four American members of the College class of 2012 whose names were released previously.

Matthews Mmopi ’11 of South Africa, a former Adams House resident and economics concentrator now living in Gaborone, Botswana, was one of 10 winners from the Southern Africa region. He expects to pursue a master's in philosophy in development studies at Oxford. According to a brief biography provided by the Rhodes Trust:

Matthews completed his Bachelor of Arts from Harvard earlier this year, having majored in Economics with a minor in African and African American Studies. Whilst at Harvard, Matthews served as President of the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College, a choral society of over 150 members; as Director of Enterprise for the Harvard African Business and Investment Club and as Chair of the Ann Radcliffe Trust/Women’s Center Community Fund Advisor Board.  He served as volunteer with Harvard College Women’s Center, with the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and served as Programme Co-ordinator for the Harvard Black Students Association.  This summer he interned for the Harvard Committee on African Studies.  Matthews’ long-term aspiration is to contribute to the reform of the socio-economic and political structures underpinning chronic poverty and gender inequity in Africa.

David Obert, a second-year student at Harvard Medical School, was nominated by the school for a Rhodes; originally from Edmonton, Alberta, he is one of three winners from the prairie region of Canada. He plans to pursue a double master’s in public policy and global health science. His Rhodes Trust biographical sketch notes:

A J.W McConnell Scholar, David graduated from McGill with a BSc in Biology in 2010….[He] is currently involved in a Harvard/NATO study examining health sector stabilization and reconstruction in fragile states and is the HMS student representative to the Association of American Medical Colleges.  He has also been active in a conservation/public health project in Uganda (Kibale Health and Conservation Centre) and in teaching health education to teenagers in Boston schools.  David is an avid outdoors and sports enthusiast and particularly enjoys scuba diving, surfing and mountain biking.  A former competitive alpine skier, he enjoys skiing recreationally and is a certified ski instructor.

Additional coverage of the new scholars  appears in the Harvard Gazette.

A complete listing, with brief biographies, of the 2012 Rhodes Scholars-elect, including those from Harvard, appears on the Rhodes Trust website.

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