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Rhodes Scholars Elect for 2010

Media Release
19 November 2009

Rhodes Scholars Elect for 2010

Thomas Hills, Alice Irving and Richard Stebbing have been selected as Rhodes Scholars following a selection meeting at Government House in Auckland yesterday.

Tenable at Oxford University, Rhodes Scholarships constitute the pinnacle of achievement for university graduates wishing to pursue postgraduate study at one of the world’s leading universities. In this country, the awards are administered by the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee.

Thomas Hills has been studying at the University of Otago’s Dunedin and Wellington campuses. He was awarded the 2008 Fowler Scholarship for Top Overall Fifth-Year Student in the MB, ChB programme at the Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago. In 2007, Thomas received the Charles Hastings Medal for Excellence in Medicine and the McGraw-Hill Award.

At Oxford, he intends studying for an MSc in Integrated Immunology leading to his eventual goal, a DPhil programme. Once his studies are complete, Thomas plans to return to New Zealand to train as a specialist. His experience to date includes participation in the 2008 Rural Medical Immersion Programme run by the University of Otago and a 2009 medical elective in Zambia.

Active in sport, Thomas enjoys marathon running and plays premier grade club cricket. Born in New Plymouth, he attended Francis Douglas Memorial College where he was a prefect and house captain.

Alice Irving has undertaken an LLB (Hons) and BA in Community and Family Studies at the University of Otago and should complete her studies midway through next year. She started her university education at Victoria University of Wellington in 2005.

At Oxford, Alice will undertake a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) and an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She intends to work as a criminal defence lawyer, then in social policy and legal reform work.

Alice has served as a volunteer at law centres and as a Pacific Island mentor and tutor at the Otago Faculty of Law. A runner up in the New Zealand Law Students’ Association Mooting Nationals, Alice is Otago University’s mooting champion and best speaker and has won numerous university prizes for law.

Born in Hastings, she attended Havelock North High School (Dux in Year 12). At secondary school Alice played canoe polo to regional representative level and was selected as a member of the New Zealand under-18 development squad. Her musical interests centre on the violin and she has played in both the Hawkes Bay Youth Orchestra and the Havelock North High orchestra.

Richard Stebbing is undertaking a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) at the University of Auckland and is expected to graduate in May next year. He gained direct entry to Auckland University as a second-year student, enabling him to complete his degree in three years rather than four under the accelerated pathway for engineering programme. Richard has achieved A+ grades in all his courses to date. His academic prizes include an NZQA Outstanding Scholar Award, a University of Auckland Scholarship,
the Institution of Engineering and Technology Prize for 2008 (awarded to the top student in electrical and electronic engineering part III) and the Beca Part IV Engineering Scholarship.

At Oxford, Richard will pursue a DPhil in Biomedical Engineering. Once his studies are complete he plans to return to this country to continue work in either the academic or industrial sectors.

Born in Auckland, he attended Northcote College where he was Dux and Head Boy. A member of the school orchestra, Richard also played ice hockey at regional level. He has served as a tutor and mentor for both high school and university students.


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