Three students with connections to Pennsylvania are among the latest group of U.S. Rhodes scholars heading to Oxford University in England next fall. Harvard senior Brittany Ellis, University of Pennsylvania senior Anea Moore and University of Pittsburgh alumna Lia Petrose were named as recipients of the prestigious scholarship Sunday.
"I'm still in a bit of shock, trying to process different emotions," said Harvard senior Britanny Ellis, of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, who was on a summer program at Oxford in 2013. "I'm so honored and privileged."
Ellis has spent the last two summers in Jordan, first studying Arabic and then working on an archaeological dig. Currently studying social anthropology and archaeology, she will study visual, material and museum studies at Oxford, with hopes of entering the anthropology doctoral program and eventually working in museums.
"I'm really passionate about using cultural materials ... in more accessible and socially responsible ways," she said.
Also a reporter and news executive at the Harvard Crimson, she manages Harvard's largest intramural crew program and serves as captain and coxswain of her crew. She said she's looking forward to having access to all of the museums and other cultural resources in the area and would also love to stay involved in a crew program as coxswain.
Petrose, of Laurel, Maryland, earned her degrees in neuroscience and economics from Pitt in 2017. She was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and immigrated to the United States when she was 12. In a release from the university, Honors College Dean Brian Primack said he was "absolutely thrilled for Lia."
“When I first met her last year, I knew that she would do remarkable things and would undoubtedly succeed in her goal of optimizing healthcare systems for the underserved. Her enthusiasm for her work was absolutely infectious. I was also struck by her remarkable character; for someone so accomplished she was extremely humble. I am more pleased than I can say that the Rhodes Committee bestowed upon her this honor," Primack said.
Petrose is the eighth Rhodes Scholar from Pitt.
Officials say Moore, of Philadelphia, is studying law and minoring in Africana Studies and is co-president of a nonprofit serving low-income college students. Researching issues related to gentrification, race, class, and family engagement and well-being, at Oxford, she plans to pursue degrees in evidence-based social intervention and in comparative international education.
WESA's Katie Blackley contributed to this report.