Bound for Britain and Ireland: Six studies of student accomplishment

As announced last week, Yale is sending six students to the United Kingdom and to Ireland next year for postgraduate study as Rhodes, Marshall,and Mitchell scholars. These scholarships are internationally recognized as among the most prestigious and competitive academic honors for graduate education.

Here are profiles of this year’s winners:

Marshall Scholars

Andrew Mangino ‘09 B.A. As editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News, Mangino oversaw the paper’s most comprehensive redesign since 1879-and in the future, he hopes to help redesign the nation’s educational system. A former speechwriting intern for Vice President Joe Biden, and currently a speechwriter for Attorney General Eric Holder, the magna cum laude graduate co-founded the first national online political student newspaper, Scoop08, and was president of Yale’s Davenport Pops Orchestra, where he played the double bass. He is currently working to reinvigorate the American classroom through The Future Project, a non-profit he co-founded that links college students and recent graduates with urban high school students in order to inspire passion, purpose, public service and a renewed sense of possibility in the participants. While American public schools emphasize standardized tests, Mangino notes, “I believe that just as critical is performance as measured by creativity, empathy, leadership and service.” By focusing on that approach, he adds, “even the most underprivileged students and overburdened teachers will find more space to be extraordinary.” As a Marshall Scholar, Mangino will study some of the world’s best public schools and systems. He will divide his two years between Oxford, where he’ll pursue a master’s degree in comparative social policy, and the Institute of Education at the University of London, where he’ll earn a master’s in comparative education. When Mangino returns from the UK, he will begin studying for a J.D. at Yale Law School.

Elizabeth Deutsch ‘11, Morse College. A double major in English and economics, with a GPA of 4.0 in both, Deutsch is interested in exploring how those seemingly unrelated disciplines intersected in the early book industry in England, which developed as a result of the invention of the printing press. In particular, Deutsch is looking at the influence the burgeoning publishing trade exerted on the actual content of what was printed. “Market forces began to govern the material form of literature,” she says. “To sell their products, publishers took liberties with the authors’ texts, and writers themselves were not deaf to the demands of the market.” She hopes to better understand this pivotal moment in history when a landmark technology changed the production and dissemination of literature — a time, she notes, that is not unlike our own. At Yale, Deutsch has already garnered many awards for her writing and scholarship, including election to Phi Beta Kappa and The Curtis Prize for Excellence in English. Deutsch has worked in Yale’s investments offices and at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and served as an aide to Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. In her first year as a Marshall Scholar, she will work toward an M.Phil. in medieval and Renaissance literature in Cambridge, focusing on early modern drama. In her second year, she will earn an M.Sc. in economic history at the London School of Economics. Deutsch plans on an academic career.

Mari Oye ‘11, Timothy Dwight College. Oye is a political science and international studies major who has chosen to make the study of “violence and post-conflict reconstruction” her life’s work. She serves on the boards of Yale’s Dwight Hall and the Arghand Cooperative (see http://arghand.org/), which sells natural products made by Afghans from indigenous fruits and plants; she was also a volunteer in Tajikistan for the international relief organization Mercy Corps. Oye has worked on issues of human rights and civil liberties for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and the Office of Senator Christopher Dodd and has written articles on Kosovo and Tajikistan for the Yale Globalist Magazine. She is co-founder and former president of the student-run Yale Afghanistan Forum, a network of students with an interest in Afghanistan and its surrounding region. She cites as one of her notable achievements handing a letter denouncing torture to President Bush when she was at the White House as a U.S. Presidential Scholar. Oye, who speaks French (fluently) and Farsi, sings with the Yale Glee Club and is in charge of publicity for the group’s 150th anniversary winter tour across the United States and summer tour throughout Europe. As a Marshall Scholar, she will pursue an M.Sc. in the Violence, Conflict & Development Program at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. “I don’t want to live in an Ivory Tower,” says Oye, who would like to work for the State Department or an NGO.

Rhodes Scholars

Alice Baumgartner ‘10 B.A. A summa cum laude graduate in history, Baumgartner has had her work published in the Scholastic anthology “We are Quiet, We are Loud,” the Innisfree Poetry Journal and the Kenyon Review. A former poetry intern at The New Yorker, she has received awards from the Atlantic Monthly and the Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony. At Yale Baumgartner won the Henry P. Wright Prize for Nonfiction, the George Washington Egleston Prize for the “best essay on American history” and, twice, the Elmore A. Willets Prize for Fiction for best short story by an undergraduate. At Commencement she received the James Andrew Haas Prize for her “breadth of intellectual achievement, strength of character and fundamental humanity.” Baumgartner, who is also a marathon runner, wants to work for a foundation that identifies and funds grassroots organizations. Currently, she is in Bolivia on a Gordon Grand Public Service Fellowship from Yale working in a health care clinic. “I am the public health coordinator, as well as the medical translator, hospital aide, secretary, chef and ambulance driver,” she wrote in an e-mail. She has helped a group of Bosnian teenage girls write and illustrate a book on nutrition, which she hopes will be published in the United States and help finance the girls’ medical education. She is also working to inspire families there to cultivate vegetable gardens. As a Rhodes Scholar, Baumgartner will pursue an M.Phil. in development studies at Oxford.

William Zeng ‘11 Berkeley College. Zeng is a senior physics major and a member of Yale’s lightweight crew team. His interests range from quantum physics to philosophy to Hindi — something with which he became fascinated after spending the summer two years ago in New Delhi working for the Indian Youth Climate Network, which raises awareness about climate change. At Yale, Zeng works in the laboratory of engineers Robert Schoelkopf and Michel Devoret, where he is helping to develop rudimentary quantum processors that will, hopefully, pave the way for full-scale quantum computers. He is interested in learning more about the theory and algorithms behind quantum information processing, and plans on delving into this next fall, when he will begin the M.Sc. in mathematics and the foundations of computer science program at Oxford. As an added bonus, Zeng says, he just happens to be heading to a school that is perhaps equally well known for its academic rigor as it is for its rowing prowess. “It’s no small coincidence that the best rowing schools are also the best academic schools,” he says. “Both pursuits are all about mental determination and hard work.”

Mitchell Scholar

Jessica A. Moldovan ‘11, Saybrook College. A history major from New York, Moldovan seeks a future career in women’s rights advocacy. As a Mitchell Scholar, she will pursue an M.Phil. degree in gender and women’s studies at Trinity College-Dublin focusing on the reproductive rights movement in Ireland, both past and present. A self-described activist, Moldovan has interned in the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project and co-directs Yale’s Community Health Educators, the largest student volunteer organization at Yale. The organization provides about 2,200 students from New Haven schools with a comprehensive curriculum covering health issues from nutrition and substance abuse, to contraception and healthy relationships. Moldovan has conducted a research project titled “Is Grand Strategy Gender Neutral?” in which she studied the strategies of leading rights organizations — such as the National Organization for Women, the National Women’s Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union — to see how effectively they advanced a women’s rights agenda. In another research project, she interviewed students, religious figures and members of Jewish communities in Prague, Warsaw, Krakow and Budapest to investigate a “Young Jewish Renaissance” in Eastern Europe. Moldovan says she is a “history nerd” and avid Hearts player, and she lists swimming and tennis as her recreational sports. After completing her work at Trinity, Moldovan intends to attend law school.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345