Emory’s eighteenth Rhodes scholar:
Philosophy, politics, passion, and paper clips.
This quirky combination helped win Emory senior Zachary Manfredi 07C a Rhodes Scholarship—one of thirty-two awarded to American university students for 2007. Manfredi is Emory’s eighteenth Rhodes Scholar.
“For me, receiving the Rhodes Scholarship is a chance to continue to pursue my passions,” Manfredi says. “I’ll get to work on important political causes and also to keep asking important philosophic questions. It’s a synthesis of my two greatest loves, justice and knowledge.”
Manfredi has maintained a 3.99 grade point average while pursuing a triple major in philosophy, international relations, and comparative literature. He plans to use his scholarship at Oxford University to pursue a master’s in philosophy. His research will focus on the philosophy of international relations and human rights, and its potential to influence policy concerning the development of institutions such as the International Criminal Court.
“Zak truly embodies the ideal of an engaged citizen-scholar. His incredible intellect and compassionate commitment to social justice and community building, along with his courageous leadership abilities, will serve him well at Oxford and beyond,” says Emory University President James Wagner.
Once he completes his degree at Oxford, Manfredi plans to pursue his passion for human rights and earn a joint law degree and doctorate in political philosophy, focusing on cases of war crimes, political prosecutions, and genocide.
Manfredi, who is from Rochester, Michigan, has dedicated much of his time at Emory to raising awareness about human rights issues. He serves as president of Emory’s Amnesty International chapter and is founder and president of the Student Activist Coalition on campus. Manfredi also served as an intern in the democracy program of The Carter Center. The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan, has been a particular focus of Manfredi, who is cofounder and president of the nongovernmental organization Paperclips for Peace in Sudan.
“I really owe a great deal of my success in this process to my mentor, Dr. Elizabeth Goodstein,” Manfredi says. Goodstein is an associate professor in Emory’s Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts and director of graduate studies. “I’ve learned so much from her, not just in terms of academics, but also about life and what I want to do in the future.”
Manfredi was a member of Emory’s nationally ranked debate team, the Barkley Forum, and continues to volunteer with the Urban Debate League, a partnership between the Barkley Forum and the Atlanta and Decatur city schools. He also has served as a writer and editor for the Emory Political Review and Emory Undergraduate Research Journal. A member of the Emory Scholars program as a Goodrich C. White Scholar, he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society his sophomore year.