Summer 2008: Emory’s 163rd Commencement

Rachel Zelkowitz

Rachel Zelkowitz

Bryan Meltz

Renaissance Woman

Wide-ranging talents and leadership qualities earn Rachel Zelkowitz the McMullan Award

By Beverly Clark

Emory graduate Rachel Zelkowitz 08C knows a little something about deadlines. During her four years at Emory, she took on numerous positions with the award-winning student newspaper the Emory Wheel and earned a reputation for grace under fire, high ethical standards, and warm support of her colleagues. These qualities led her to win the 2008 Lucius Lamar McMullan Award, one of Emory’s highest student honors, which also comes with $25,000—no strings attached. Endowed by alumnus William L. Matheson 43C in honor of his uncle, the award is given to a graduating senior who exhibits “outstanding citizenship, exceptional leadership, and potential for service to his or her community, the nation, and the world.” The donor’s intention is to allow a student to do something he or she wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.

“Winning the McMullan was truly stunning. There are so many tremendously talented people in my class doing extraordinary things, so this is not something I would ever expect to receive,” Zelkowitz said. She gave a gift to the Emory Counseling Center and set aside the rest for graduate school and savings.

Zelkowitz recently served as executive editor of the Wheel and was a member of the appeals board of the Emory College Honor Council. She chaired the senior Class Day committee and was a student representative on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. A Woodruff Scholar, she graduated with highest honors as a political science and journalism major and also completed an honors thesis in political science.

She is now headed to a six-month internship with Science magazine. “Science has always been a passion of mine,” she said. “I plan to combine that with my love of writing and communicating, and hopefully provide a service that will benefit the public by increasing people’s understanding of the importance of science in our lives. My training at Emory gave me a fantastic foundation to do this.”

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