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UGA awarded a 2011 Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University


University  of Georgia Honors student Tracy Yang of Macon has been awarded a 2011 Rhodes  Scholarship to attend England's Oxford University. She plans to pursue a  master's of science degree in global health science.

Yang,  who is a UGA Foundation Fellow, also was a 2010 Truman Scholar. She plans to  graduate from UGA in May with a bachelor's degree in anthropology. She is one  of 32 Rhodes recipients in the United States and the only one from the state of  Georgia.

Yang  is UGA's 22nd Rhodes Scholar and third UGA female student to be selected since  1976, the first year women were eligible to apply. Before Yang, UGA's most  recent recipients were Deep Shah and Kate Vyborny in 2008.

"The  Rhodes Scholarship is a signal accomplishment for a university student and a  reflection of the rigorous academic environment on the recipient's home  campus," said UGA President Michael F. Adams. "Tracy Yang is representative of  everything that is good about the UGA student body. She is, first and foremost,  a dedicated student, but she is also committed to a life of serving others. I  have no doubt that she will be one of those people who have a significant and  positive impact on the world."

With  aspirations to pursue a career as a physician-policy analyst, Yang has  concentrated her research as well as her local and international involvement on  efforts to address public health disparities and improving access to services.

As  a sophomore, Yang conducted research on the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi under  the guidance of Rick Tarleton, Distinguished Research Professor in Cellular  Biology. The parasite, which causes Chagas disease, has infected approximately  18 million people in Latin America.

She  also participated in the Nathan Schnaper Cancer Research Intern Program in  summer 2008, and in a public health and emergency preparedness internship at  Greater New York Hospital Association in summer 2010. She has traveled to  Nicaragua, working with medical personnel who provide health services to  residents through community hospital or home visits.

Yang  currently is working as an intern with the Athens Health Network, part of a community-based  initiative to address poverty issues in Athens. She also serves as a mentor and  ESL teacher in the local community.

Yang's  interest in policy decision-making precipitated her involvement with UGA's  chapter of the Roosevelt Institution, a national student-run think tank, in  which she has served in several leadership roles. She also is an editor for  UGA's Journal for Undergraduate Research Opportunities, an online undergraduate  research journal for the arts, humanities and social sciences.

"Tracy  is an amazing person," said David S. Williams, director of UGA's Honors Program  and the UGA faculty representative for the Rhodes Scholarship. "She displays an  uncommon intellect, a deep sense of dedication, profound empathy and  extraordinary energy. Yet, she remains completely down to earth and is a  delight to be around. Rhodes Scholars are not just impressive intellects. They  are supposed to make the world a better place. I have no doubt that Tracy will  do just that."

Rhodes  Scholars are chosen in a two-stage process. Candidates must first be endorsed  by their college or university; then selection committees in each of 16  districts invite the strongest applicants for an interview. This year, 837  students were endorsed by 309 colleges and universities.
For more information about the Rhodes Scholarship program,  see www.rhodesscholar.org.