11-21-2004, 03:54 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: New Brunswick, NJ, USA
Jennifer Howitt: Paraplegic Basketball Player receives Rhodes Scholarship
32 U.S. Students Named As Rhodes Scholars
Sunday November 21, 2004 10:01 PM
AP Photo WXS101
By JUSTIN POPE
AP Education Writer
A Paralympic basketball gold medalist who has campaigned to improve access for the disabled in the developing world and a scientist-turned-political philosopher who worked on ways to control the invasive kudzu plant were among the 32 Americans selected Sunday as Rhodes Scholars for 2005.
The scholars, chosen from 904 applicants endorsed by 341 colleges and universities, will enter Oxford University in England next October. The scholarships fund two or three years of study.
``I'm still having trouble putting into words how it feels,'' said Jennifer Howitt of Georgetown University, a member of the U.S. wheelchair basketball team that won a gold medal at the Athens Paralympic Games. ``In a lot of ways, it felt kind of like winning the gold in Athens. It kind of put this smile on my face that I couldn't take off.''
Howitt, who lost the use of her legs in a hiking accident when she was 9, plans to study development and to continue work to improve conditions for the disabled in developing countries.
The American students will join scholars selected from 18 other nations. About 95 scholars are selected each year.
The Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist and diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes. Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor, among other attributes.
Past Rhodes Scholars include former President Bill Clinton, U.S. Supreme Court justices Byron White and David Souter, singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson, former presidential candidates Bill Bradley and Wesley Clark, and James William Fulbright, creator of the Fulbright Scholarships.