Two Yale Students Win Rhodes Scholarships for 2003

Chesa Boudin and Prateek Tandon, both seniors at Yale College, have been awarded 2003 Rhodes Scholarships for study at Oxford University.

Tandon, of Watertown, Massachusetts, majors in African Studies and Economics. With an exemplary record in both of his primary areas of study, he has also been engaged in a number of humanitarian projects during his college career. These include helping to establish a relief project for war victims in Kashmir, an area which has long been a source of contention between neighboring Pakistan and India, and working with children who have been orphaned by AIDS at a health center in Somalia. Closer to home, he has served in a soup kitchen in New Haven and, as a highly ranked varsity tennis player, he has participated in athletic outreach programs with area public school students.

At Yale, Tandon has worked as a research assistant for Gustav Ranis, the Henry R. Luce Director of the Yale Center of International and Area Studies and Frank Altschul Professor of International Economics. For his senior projects, Tandon is doing a study of access to the Internet in rural areas of India and researching the possibility of East African countries forming an economic alliance on the order of the European Union.

At Oxford, Tandon intends to pursue a doctorate in development studies, which combines the disciplines of anthropology, politics and economics.

Boudin is also the recipient of a prestigious Marshall Scholarship, which he will forfeit to accept the Rhodes. Boudin grew up in Chicago. He majors in history and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. A student of Latin American development, Boudin spent his junior year at the Universidad de Chile as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and has volunteered in community service projects in Guatemala and Chile as well as at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Active in the student legal action movement and in criminal justice reform, Boudin has spoken around the country about the problems facing children of prison inmates. He has worked as a tutor, translator, interpreter and disc jockey. In a 2001 worldwide competition, he was named Goldman Sachs Global Leader for his outstanding leadership and public service.

His published papers include “The Memoir of a Man Who Overcame a Bleak Past and Found a Bright Future” (Chicago Tribune Book Review) and “In Prison Again” ( He is at work on an autobiographical memoir.

He plans to do his M.Phil. in development studies focusing on economics, sociology and history.

Boudin and Tandon are among 32 American students chosen from 981 applicants who were endorsed by 341 colleges and universities in a nationwide competition.

Rhodes Scholarships provide two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. The oldest of the international study awards available to American students, the Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by British philanthropist and colonial pioneer Cecil Rhodes. Applicants are chosen on the basis of the criteria set down in Rhodes’s will: “high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor.”

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