Emory Report

December 13, 1999

 Volume 52, No. 15

Danielle Sered named Emory's 16th Rhodes Scholar

Senior Danielle Sered is one of 32 American college or university students selected as Rhodes Scholars, the Rhodes Scholarship Trust announced last week.

Sered is the 16th Emory student to be awarded the scholarship that provides for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. She was selected from 935 applicants endorsed by 323 colleges and universities nationwide.

"After spending a whole day with all the candidates and learning of all the amazing and inspiring work they are doing, it is a very humbling experience to have been chosen," Sered said. "It is invigorating to know that there are so many students doing work that will make a difference."

"On behalf of this university, and in particular her teachers and fellow students, let me say that we are immensely proud of the accomplishment--academic, civic and physical--of Danielle Sered," said President Bill Chace. "She has done much at Emory to remind us of what strength of mind and of character can do, particularly when such strengths are brought to very high levels. She now will act as a spur to her fellow students, those on campus now and those to come. We wish her well at Oxford and believe that her greatest accomplishments still lie before her."

Sered, who is majoring in English with a minor in French, will pursue her master's degree in English at Oxford--the M.Phil, as it is known in England. Her concentration is in contemporary Irish literature with particular interest in Irish female poets. Research for her senior honors thesis led her on a nine-week research trip to Ireland last summer to interview a dozen of those poets.

Sered has published many essays and poems in national literary and collegiate magazines; her critical essay on the work of Irish poet Medbh McGuckian won a national Norton Scholars Prize from W.W. Norton Co. and the Modern Language Association. She also is the recipient of a Beinecke Brothers Memorial Scholarship, a national scholarship awarding $32,000 for graduate study. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

"It's immensely rewarding for all of her mentors to see such an outstanding person rewarded," said English Professor Ron Schuchard, Sered's advisor. "She has as much generosity of mind and of spirit as any student I've ever worked with."

In addition to her academic work, Sered is active in the Emory community in many ways. Some of her accomplishments include founding ArtsReach, a program that teaches conflict resolution, prejudice reduction and AIDS/sex education through the arts in Atlanta city schools and juvenile detention centers. She also launched the Emory Women's Alliance, a network of mentors and support for female Emory faculty, staff and students, and developed the classroom component for En Acte Theater Action Troupe, a campus theater company performing theater with a message in local schools.

"When I heard this announced on National Public Radio, I danced with joy," said Emory Women's Center Director Ali Crown, who has worked with Sered through both the Women's Center and the President's Commission on the Status of Women. "Every time a woman who does good works on behalf of women is honored, it advances our mission tenfold. No one is more deserving of this distinction than our own Danielle."

Sered is the second female Emory student to be named a Rhodes Scholar, but the first female undergraduate. The first was Heather Warren, a graduate student in theology who was selected in 1981. Emory's most recent Rhodes Scholar was Stanley Panikowski III in 1992.

The Rhodes Scholarship, established in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist and colonial pioneer Cecil Rhodes, is the oldest international study award available to American students. Scholars are chosen based on high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor.

Since 1976 women have been eligible to apply, and 291 have since won the prestigious award. The scholarship pays all college and university fees and provides a stipend to cover expenses while in residence in Oxford as well as during vacations. The total value averages approximately $25,000 per year depending on the degree being pursued.

Sered is a native of Evanston, Ill. Her mother and stepfather are Joan and Emmett Smith, and her father is Meir Sered, all residents of Chicago.

-Deb Hammacher

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