Five Yale students awarded 2024 Rhodes Scholarships
Four Yale College seniors who have both excelled academically and demonstrated a commitment to social impact, and another scholar who is currently studying at Yale as a 2023-24 Henry Fellow, are among 62 students from across the world to receive 2024 Rhodes Scholarships, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious academic awards for graduate study. The scholarships provide all expenses for two to three years of study at the University of Oxford.
Madison I. Hahamy, from Lake Forest, Illinois, and Jacqueline N. Testamark, from Levittown, New York, are among 32 American recipients, the Rhodes Trust announced on Nov. 11, and Iman Iftikhar, from Lahore, Pakistan, and Victoria Kipngetich, from Nairobi, Kenya, are among 30 international recipients. Nyasha Mukonoweshuro, from Zimbabwe, who came to Yale as a 2023-24 Henry Fellow after graduating from Loughborough University in England, also received a Rhodes Scholarship.
All of the scholars will begin graduate study, across a range of disciplines, at Oxford beginning in October 2024.
Created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes scholarships are provided in partnership with the Second Century Founders, John McCall MacBain O.C., the Atlantic Philanthropies, and many other benefactors. Applicants are chosen on the basis of the criteria set down by Rhodes. While these criteria include “first and fundamentally, academic excellence,” this is only a “threshold condition,” said Ramona L. Doyle, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust, in announcing the 32 U.S. winners.
“A Rhodes Scholar should also have great ambition for social impact, and an uncommon ability to work with others to achieve one’s goals,” she said. “They should be committed to make a strong difference for good in the world, be concerned for the welfare of others, and be acutely conscious of inequities.”
“They inspire us already with their accomplishments, but even more by their values-based leadership and selfless ambitions to improve their communities and the world,” Doyle added.
Biographies of Yale’s 2024 Rhodes scholars follow:
Madison I. Hahamy
Madison I. Hahamy is majoring in English. Since high school, she has been a journalist, and now contributes to investigative journalism in a variety of news outlets. She is an intern at NBC News Investigations and was previously a senior editor at The New Journal at Yale. She received the John Hersey Prize in journalism for her engagement with moral and social issues, responsible reportage, and craftsmanship. In her spare time, she is a singer in a Jewish a cappella group. She has a twin brother, Garrett. Madison will pursue a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in refugee and forced migration studies at Oxford.
Iman Iftikhar is majoring in history and philosophy at Yale. Her historical scholarship is focused on archiving the untold histories of marginalized, resistance movements in colonial and postcolonial South Asia, including the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (Pakistan) for her undergraduate thesis. She is also interested in ethics and conflict theory and is working on putting Kant, Freud, Butler, and Fanon in conversation on the ethics of violence for her senior essay in philosophy. At Yale, she has been involved with the Yale Debate Association, served on the Women's Center board, and chaired the Reproductive Justice Action League. She has also written for publications, edited for online journals, recorded podcasts, interned in foreign policy, and worked at Artspace New Haven. She speaks five languages including English, Urdu, Punjabi, German, and Arabic, and is looking to add Farsi and Pashto to the list. At Oxford Iman will pursue a Master of Studies (M.St.) degree in intellectual history and an M.Sc. in South Asian Studies.
Victoria Kipngetich, who is majoring in global affairs, is passionate about agency in Africa’s diplomatic relations and the democratization of foreign policy in the Kenyan context. Relating to these interests, she has interned at the Kenya Mission to the United Nations, where she negotiated resolutions in the UN General Assembly and served as a speechwriter for the Kenyan ambassador to the UN. She most recently interned at the Council on Foreign Relations, working to enhance U.S. policymakers’ understanding of political developments in East and Central Africa. She is fluent in Swahili and French and has studied Italian at Yale. Through the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, she has conducted research on the diplomatic strategies employed by Kenyan policymakers in response to emerging great power competition dynamics on the African continent. She intends to pursue this research further through a policy-prescriptive lens at Oxford, reading for an M.Sc. in global governance and diplomacy.
Jacqueline N. Testamark
Jacqueline N. Testamark is majoring in classical civilizations and history, where much of her academic work has centered on examining minority histories in classical art and literature. She has worked as a field archaeologist in Rome with the Gabii Project, contributed to a recent gallery exhibition and associated catalogue with Nicholas Hall, and is a provenance researcher for the Yale University Art Gallery. She co-organizes the Anti-Racism Reading Group for the Department of Classics, developing a curriculum of readings centering race and identity in classical texts and modern scholarship, and last year served as the head delegate of the Model United Nations Team. In her free time, she enjoys performing with her a cappella group, Out of the Blue. At Oxford, she will pursue an M.St. in history of art and visual culture.
Nyasha Mukonoweshuro this year graduated from Loughborough University with first class honors, the highest grade an undergraduate student can achieve in the UK. As the recipient of a Henry Fellowship, which supports one year of postgraduate study at Yale, she is now taking classes in Yale’s Department of Political Science and Yale Law School. As an undergraduate she explored the value of narratives in reconciliation following violent conflict in post-colonial contexts. She is interested in studying African epistemic agency in approaches towards transitional justice, focusing especially on the role of typically marginalized actors such as women and young people. Stemming from her experiences as a former internationally competitive swimmer, she is also passionate about supporting marginalized communities and creating equitable environments. As an undergraduate student, she was recognized as the “Diversity Advocate of the Year” and received the vice chancellor’s gold award for her efforts to strengthen the university’s racial equity strategy. She hopes to pursue a career in the legal sector, particularly at the intersection of human rights and international law. At Oxford, she hopes to read for a B.A in jurisprudence with senior status.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated on Nov. 14 to include a fifth 2024 Rhodes recipient now studying at Yale.