The University of Georgia is the only public university in the nation to have two recipients of the Rhodes Scholarship this year.
UGA senior Deep Shah of Duluth and 2005 graduate Kate Vyborny of Washington, D.C. have been awarded 2008 Rhodes Scholarships to attend Oxford University, England’s oldest and world-renowned institution of higher education. Both are UGA Foundation Fellows and Shah was also the recipient of a 2007 Truman Scholarship.
Prior to this year, UGA has had a total of 19 Rhodes Scholars-with four of those named since 1996.
Shah, who will graduate in May 2008 with bachelor’s degrees in international affairs and biology, plans to pursue a master of science degree in global health science at Oxford.
Vyborny, who earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and international affairs from UGA, currently works for the Center for Global Development. She would like to complete a master of philosophy degree in development studies at Oxford.
“This remarkable accomplishment proves that UGA students are competitive with students anywhere,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “It also speaks to the quality of the faculty in the Honors Program; they challenge the students in that program and prepare them for success in the classroom and in these scholarship competitions.”
While at UGA, Shah has been able to combine his interests in public policy and medicine through his research and internship experiences. As a member of UGA’s Honors Program, Shah has studied Parkinson’s disease at Emory University, resulting in a published paper as second author in the Journal of Comparative Neurology.
Shah also investigated the preventative and preparatory measures a college town like Athens can take during a bioterrorism attack, which is the basis of his Honors thesis. He presented those findings at a symposium the Honors Program’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities sponsors on campus every spring.
Vyborny, who is originally from Raleigh, N.C., is UGA’s second female Rhodes Scholar since 1976, the first year women were eligible to apply. Beth Shapiro was UGA’s first female Rhodes Scholar in 1999.
Her interest in international public service began at UGA when she traveled abroad to Ecuador, China and Croatia, investigating development issues. On her second trip to Ecuador, Vyborny served as a program assistant with the Foundation for Sustainable Development, coordinating the interns and assisting them in designing their service projects.
Vyborny, who was a UGA First Honor Graduate with a perfect 4.0 GPA, also interned at UGA’s Center for International Trade and Security and participated in the center’s Security Leadership Program. Additionally, she worked extensively with the Amnesty International chapter at UGA.
Following graduation in 2005, Vyborny was one of seven college graduates nationally selected for a one-year fellowship with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She researched, wrote and edited papers on trade and development issues and assisted in the research and preparation of a major publication, Winners and Losers: Impact of the Doha Round on Developing Countries, assessing the impact of multilateral trade policy on development. She received a 2006 performance award bonus for her contributions on the report.
Vyborny currently is co-authoring a book on globalization and inequality.
This year, 764 students were endorsed by 294 colleges and universities. A total of 209 applicants from 98 schools reached the final stage of the competition, from which the final 32 scholars were selected.