Northwestern graduate among Rhodes Scholars

November 21, 2011

Associated Press

(AP Photo/Northwestern University, Stephen Anzaldi)
Rhodes Scholar Sarah Smierciak poses for photos on Nothwestern’s Evanston, Ill. campus.

CHICAGO (AP) — A 22-year-old graduate from Northwestern University is among the 32 Rhodes Scholars.

Sarah Smierciak says she was shocked to hear the good news.

The awards announced early Sunday provide all expenses for study at Oxford University in England. The winners were selected from 830 applicants endorsed by 299 different colleges and universities. The scholars will enter Oxford next October.

Smierciak is from the Chicago suburb of Lemont and graduated from Northwestern in June. She majored in history and in Middle East language and civilization at Northwestern, speaks fluent Arabic and is a triathlete.

She's been working in Egypt at a transition house for orphaned children.

Smierciak plans to pursue a graduate degree in development studies at Oxford and dreams of one day being an adviser to the United Nations.