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Four Elis win Rhodes Scholarships

Yale basketball player Matt Townsend ’15 missed the first two games of a tournament at Kent State University last weekend because of a commitment in New York: his final interview for a coveted Rhodes Scholarship. Not only did Townsend win the scholarship—one of four Yale students and alumni chosen this year—he made it back to Kent on Sunday to score 12 points in a win against the tournament’s host, including the basket that put Yale ahead with a minute left to go.

Thirty-two American college seniors and recent graduates are chosen each year for the Rhodes, which allows winners to pursue graduate study at the University of Oxford in England. The Rhodes website has a list and profiles of this year’s winners.

Townsend, from Chappaqua, New York, is majoring in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. Besides playing basketball, he has been the co-coordinator of the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project. He will study medical anthropology at Oxford.

The other winners from Yale:

Jane Darby Menton ’15, from Tallahassee, Florida, is a former managing editor of the Yale Daily News who has interned for Anderson Cooper 360 and is currently an intern for the Yale Alumni Magazine. She was also conference organizer for Yale's Model United Nations. She is a double major in history and global affairs, and she will seek a Master of Philosophy in modern Eastern studies at Oxford.

Gabriel Zucker ’12, of Brooklyn, New York, is a pianist and composer who double-majored in music and ethics, politics, and economics at Yale. For the past year, he has been working for the Connecticut Heroes Project, which aims to end homelessness among veterans in the state. He will study evidence-based social intervention and policy at Oxford.

Jordan Konell ’15 of Philadelphia is majoring in African American studies and political science. He has worked as a community organizer both in Philadelphia and New Haven, and he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Undergraduate Law Review. He will study comparative social policy at Oxford.

Yale led this year’s list of Rhodes winners with four. Brown, Princeton, and MIT each had three, and Harvard and Stanford each had two.


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

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