On Saturday, the Rhodes Trust announced the 32 Americans who have won the 2008 Rhodes Scholarships. The Rhodes Scholarship, described as “the oldest and best known award for international study,” includes among its winners political figures like Bill Clinton, George Stephanopoulos and David Souter; scientists like Edwin Hubble, Robert J. van de Graaff and Brian Greene; and journalists like Nicholas Kristof, Michael Kinsley and Walter Isaacson.
Add to that list Melis Anahtar, MIT senior, Mechanical Engineering major, and MIT Admissions blogger.
Her “official” Rhodes Scholar biography reads:
Melis N. Anahtar, Bethesda, is a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she majors in mechanical engineering and minors in biomedical engineering. A former finalist in the Intel Talent Search, she has a perfect academic record at M.I.T. She has done research in immunology and has worked at the NIST, and at the NIH human genome research institute. Her senior thesis is in the use of micro-electro-mechanical devises in tissue engineering. She also is editor-in-chief of the M.I.T. Undergraduate Research Journal and was a finalist in Glamour Magazine’s Top 10 College Women Competition. At Oxford, Melis will do the M.Sc. in integrated immunology.
Melis is (according to this list) the 38th MIT student to win the Rhodes.
Sunday morning, The Washington Post led with her story in their coverage of the Rhodes announcement:
It occurred to Melis N. Anahtar’s family that she might have a future in science when she began building robots and little toy cars, using plain blocks and then invention kits.
She was in second grade.
On Saturday, Anahtar’s scientific bent paid off when she was among 32 college students from across the country, including six with ties to the Washington area, who were selected as Rhodes scholars and will spend two or three years of graduate study at Oxford University in England.
“I’m tremendously excited,” Anahtar, 21, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology senior from Bethesda, said yesterday. She has a perfect academic record at MIT — A’s in all her courses, including linguistics and fiction reading — and plans to study immunology. Of course, she’s practically an expert already, having worked in six laboratories and designed a device that isolates white blood cells to better understand how the human body reacts to injury.
Want to learn more about Melis? Check out her blog. As soon as she recovers from all the excitement, she’ll be posting about the experience! (In the meantime, feel free to leave a comment for Melis in the comments here)