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Three Stanford seniors and one alumnus named Rhodes Scholars

Three Stanford seniors and one alumnus will pursue studies at Oxford University beginning October 2018 as Rhodes Scholars.

Courtesy of Madeleine Chang

Seniors Madeleine Chang of San Francisco, Michael Chen of Boulder, Colorado, and Alexis Kallen of Ventura, California have been named 2018 American Rhodes Scholars, according to an announcement made Nov. 18 by the Rhodes Trust.

The three seniors join alumnus Jelani Munroe, who was earlier notified that he would be the Rhodes Scholar from Jamaica. Other international Rhodes Scholars are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.

The Rhodes Trust announced the names of 32 Americans as Rhodes Scholars, who the press release said reflect “the rich diversity of America.” The group includes 10 African-Americans, African and Asian immigrants; other Asian, Muslim and Latino Americans; an Alaska Native; a transgender man; and four scholars from colleges that have never before elected Rhodes Scholars in the 115 years of the scholarships.

Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England and may allow funding in some instances for four years. The scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, a British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. The new Rhodes Scholars will enter Oxford in October 2018. Rhodes Scholars are chosen based on their commitment to making a difference in the world, a concern for the welfare of others, a consciousness of inequities and leadership skills

According to the Rhodes announcement, Chang is a senior majoring in history who “envisions an ethnical framework for the digital world, a set of rights that anticipate the social and political implications of the Internet and the data collection that enables it.”

Chang’s honors thesis analyzes the Wikipedia entry about the Israel-Palestine conflict, challenging the website’s organizing principle that crowd-sourcing can produce stable, coherent and accurate accounts of any topic.

Chang serves as the co-president of the American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford, where she directs a team that organizes more than 200 people “seeding social and political change in the Middle East and the United States.” Chang speaks Arabic, Spanish and Hebrew and intends to study for an M.Sc. in Social Science of the Internet at Oxford.