Naval Academy Midshipmen Named Rhodes Scholars

Story Number: NNS121120-15Release Date: 11/20/2012 7:52:00 PM
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From Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Five Naval Academy midshipmen were awarded the Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell Scholarships for 2013 Nov. 20, tying the academy's previous record set in 2005 for postgraduate scholarships.

Midshipmen 1st Class Katie Whitcombe of Phoenix, Ariz., and Christian Heller of Beulah, N.D., were named Rhodes Scholars.

Nearly 1,000 applicants compete for one of 32 Rhodes scholarships, which provide U.S. citizens two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. Among the 32 winners, 21 came from just six schools: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cornell, the Naval Academy and West Point.

Whitcombe is a Chinese major and plans to earn a Master of Philosophy in modern Chinese studies at Oxford. She plans to use the degree to develop better policy on counter-terrorism in Southeast Asia and find correlations between terrorism and organized crime like human trafficking. Whitcombe hopes to serve as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps after graduation from the Naval Academy.

At the Naval Academy, she is a member of the varsity track and field team specializing in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles. She spent spring semester 2012 studying in China as part of the academy's semester abroad program. During summer 2012, she worked with abused girls in concert with Volunteers for Visayans in the Philippines as one of the inaugural recipients of the Naval Academy's new Summer International Service Leadership Scholarships.

Heller is a history major with a minor in Arabic and plans to earn a Master of Philosophy in Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford. Heller hopes to serve as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps after graduation from the Naval Academy.

At the Naval Academy, he participated in the annual Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference and can be found in the weight room during his free time.
Rhodes Scholars are chosen based on high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor.

Whitcombe and Heller join 46 Naval Academy graduates who have received Rhodes Scholarships.

Midshipmen 1st Class Katelyn Davidson of Orlando, Fla. and Ronald Allen of Seattle, Wash., were awarded Marshall Scholarships. This highly competitive academic scholarship provides two years of postgraduate study at a United Kingdom university.

Approximately 40 Marshall Scholars are selected each year.

Davidson is an honors English major and plans to pursue a Master of Arts in gender and society at Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as well as a Master of Arts in international peace and security at King's College in London. She wants to study the effects of women in combat, specifically the Female Engagement Teams, and their influence on the positive development of women's rights in conflict and post-conflict nations.

At the Naval Academy, she is a member of the varsity swim team and specializes in distance swimming, placing 4th at the Patriot League Championships in the 1650. She was a battalion commander during Plebe Summer, and currently serves as the brigade adjutant assisting the brigade commander. She is also the first female editor-in-chief of "The LOG Magazine" in its ninety years of publication. Davidson plans to serve as a Navy ensign upon graduation from the Naval Academy.

Allen is an honors economics major and will pursue a Master of Arts in public policy at Kings College in London. His capstone will focus on the management of investments of disadvantaged groups and the effectiveness of individual development accounts.

Allen has played free safety for the Naval Academy sprint football team since his plebe year.

Allen and Davidson join 25 Naval Academy graduates who have received Marshall Scholarships.

Midshipman 1st Class Jonathan Poole, of Yarmouth, Maine, was selected for the Mitchell Scholarship, which provides one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

He is one of 12 Mitchell Scholars selected from nearly 300 applicants this year.

Poole, an applied mathematics major, will pursue a Master of Philosophy in international public policy and diplomacy at University College Cork.

Poole serves as the fall semester brigade commander in charge of over 4,500 midshipmen and is a member of the cycling team. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, he plans to commission as a Navy ensign and serve as a surface warfare officer.

The Mitchell Scholars Program, named in honor of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, introduces and connects generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership and a commitment to community and public service.

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