Yale Boasts A Second Rhodes Scholar

Yale senior Rachel Bayefsky-Anand, an ethics, politics and economics major from Canada, has become the second Yale recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship for study at Oxford next year.

The other Yale 2008 Rhodes winner, Jarrad M. Aguirre, was announced by the American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust in November.

A native of Toronto, Bayefsky-Anand received a Canadian Rhodes Scholarship from her home province of Ontario, where she grew up. She is one of 11 of her fellow citizens selected for the Rhodes.

Bayefsky-Anand was drawn to Yale for its science program, she says, but she had an epiphany when she came here as a prospective student.

“I shopped a course in ethics when I was here for Bulldog Days,” she recalls. She was so impressed that she decided to take a wide range of courses, from physics to Arabic, eventually focusing her attention on political science and philosophy. She insists that it wasn’t a big transition from science to ethics, noting: “The most important thing in any class is to ask questions.”

She is now pondering big questions about Hegel’s theories of religion and the state for her senior thesis. Trying to sort through the complexities of Hegelian thought, she says, has significance for contemporary dilemmas about the relationship between religion and politics.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Bayefsky-Anand combines her academic and political interests with travel - for example, learning Arabic in Israel; working through an international center for democratic transition in Hungary; and trying to encourage women in Lebanon to run for elected office.

A resident of Morse College, Bayefsky-Anand cites the Independent Party of the Yale Political Union as one of her principal non-academic pastimes. “It’s a great group of people,” she says. “You can talk about things that are really important to you. At the same time you don’t take yourself too seriously.”

She is also a founder and former editor-in-chief of YUM, an irreverent literary undergraduate publication that comes out twice in the academic year. The Yale senior is interested in writing science fiction and has honed her skills with the genre in a class taught by John Crowley. Her other talents include playing the harmonica and tap-dancing.

Bayefsky-Anand plans to study political philosophy at Oxford. She intends to pursue a career in academia.

The selection of Rhodes Scholars is administered separately by the 14 countries and geographic areas that participate in the program. The United States names 72 Rhodes Scholars every year. Bayefsky-Anand is the first Canadian at Yale to win a Rhodes Scholarship since 1996, according to Kate Dailinger, who directs the Irish and UK programs in the Office of International Education and Fellowship Programs.

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