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Rhodes Scholars Elect For 2014

Rhodes Scholars Elect For 2014

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(from left) Hamish Tomlinson, Alice Wang, the Governor General Lt Gen the Right Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Benjamin Abraham.

8 November 2013

Benjamin Abraham, Hamish Tomlinson and Alice Wang and have been selected as Rhodes Scholars Elect for 2014, following a selection meeting chaired by the Governor-General at Government House in Wellington on 7 November

Rhodes Scholarships are the pinnacle of achievement for university graduates wishing to pursue postgraduate study at Oxford University, one of the world’s leading universities.

The Rhodes Trust provides the Rhodes Scholarships in partnership with the Second Century Founder, John McCall MacBain and other generous benefactors. The three Rhodes Scholarships for New Zealand reflect a partnership between the Rhodes Trust and the Robertson Foundation.

The selection criteria for Rhodes Scholarships include academic excellence, leadership and character.

In New Zealand the awards are administered by Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara.

Benjamin Abraham is studying at the University of Otago, after attending Logan Park High School in Dunedin. He is completing a BA (Honours) in Politics

At Oxford, he intends to pursue Development Studies and would like to focus his career on international cooperation to enhance sustainable development policy, including the eradication of extreme poverty.

Benjamin says he relishes the opportunity to attend “one of the great bastions of critical thought” and to connect with scholars that are passionate about bettering the world

He has received numerous scholarships, including a University of Canterbury summer scholarship this year in which he contributed to producing a resource on the resilience of NGOs following the Christchurch earthquakes. 

At university he has immersed himself in a range of service orientated organisations, such as the P3 Foundation, a New Zealand youth-led development organisation. He has also established a networking and collaboration forum for service organisations across campus.

Benjamin is a keen basketball player and has represented Otago at various age group levels for many years. 

Hamish Tomlinson is studying at the University of Canterbury, after attending James Hargest College in Invercargill.

He is completing a Bachelor of Engineering Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering.

At Oxford he hopes to undertake a DPhil in Biomedical Engineering, using mathematical models to improve understanding of illnesses, particularly the treatment of stroke. He says he is looking forward to learning from Oxford’s history and rich traditions and would love to join the Oxford cycling club, one of the oldest cycling clubs in the world. 

Hamish is an outstanding cyclist and represented New Zealand at the Junior World Championships, breaking the New Zealand record for the track cycling team pursuit.

He says the potential to see his work used clinically inspired him to pursue postgraduate study in biomedical engineering.

At university he is an active tutor and mentor, which has included facilitating career expos and guidance for first-year students. He is also the faculty representative of the UC Engineering Society.

He is the recipient of the 2013 UC Beca Engineering in Society Award, given in recognition of academic performance and leadership potential, as well as contributions to the university and society.

Hamish also has a strong aptitude for hockey and basketball.

Alice Wang is studying at the University of Auckland, after attending Avondale College in Auckland.

She is completing a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws Conjoint Honours degree.

At Oxford she intends to pursue a Master in Public Policy (MPP), followed by an MSc in Economics for Development. She is looking forward to the intellectual rigour which Oxford offers and says she is “exhilarated and humbled in equal measure.”

Alice would like to return to New Zealand and be a leader in public policy to address economic and social inequality, and help create a fairer and more equitable society.

Her interest in public policy began at high school, particularly through her involvement in the Auckland City Youth Council.

At university she has led Make a Difference with Economics (MADE), a student organisation aimed at achieving tangible social change through the application of economics. She has also undertaken research for the University of Auckland’s Centre for Applied Research in Economics to reduce child maltreatment.

She is a highly accomplished musician and plays the piano, trombone, viola and oboe, as well as composing and teaching music.


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