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Two KU students named finalists for Rhodes Scholarships

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

LAWRENCE — Two University of Kansas seniors will travel to Chicago this weekend as finalists for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

Shegufta Huma, from Wichita, and John (Ike) Uri, from Concordia, will participate in interviews with a selection committee on Friday, Nov. 18, and Saturday, Nov. 19.

“Shegufta and Ike are outstanding selections as finalists for the Rhodes Scholarship. This prestigious award would allow these students to continue developing as leaders and scholars. I know they both will represent our university well during their upcoming interviews,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

The scholarship provides expenses for one to three years of study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Huma is majoring in political science and minoring in Spanish. Huma's involvement at KU has included Student Senate, the Women of Color Collective, the Muslim Student Association and Margaret Amini Scholarship Hall. A member of the University Honors Program, she was also selected for the prestigious University Scholars Program in 2015. In spring 2016 she interned in Washington, D.C., with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. She is the daughter of Mohammad Anwar and Anjuman Ara of Bel Aire.

Uri is majoring in sociology with minors in economics, philosophy and Russian business communication. Uri's involvement at KU includes serving as the executive director of the Center for Community Outreach and as a volunteer coordinator for the Plymouth Language Program. He has worked as a research assistant for the DeBruce Foundation in Kansas City and has served as a regular contributor to the Midwest Voices panel in The Kansas City Star. A member of the University Honors Program, he was also selected for the prestigious University Scholars Program in 2015. He is the son of Larry and Therese Uri of Concordia.

Rhodes Foundation representatives select two winners in each of 16 districts in the United States after the interviews. Huma and Uri will compete with finalists from Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee.

KU students have earned 26 Rhodes Scholarships, more than all other colleges in Kansas combined.


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The School of Languages & Cultures serves as a gateway to understanding the diversity of the world, through learning languages, literatures, and cultures, past and present. Through its research and teaching, the SLLC offers students opportunities for deep engagement with a wide range of languages, literatures, and cultures that provide the knowledge and skills to interact with and understand the world. The faculty and students who teach, research, and learn in the SLLC consider issues of diversity fundamental to all of our work. The study of others' languages, literatures, and cultures enables us to develop deep empathy and perspective informs the way that we approach issues before us, whether on a personal, local, regional, national, or global scale. Therefore take it as axiomatic that the SLLC stands for a campus that is committed to the meaningful sharing, contemplation, and discussion of ideas that emerge from multiple cultural perspectives and experiences. We continually rededicate ourselves to the principle of diversity. We strive to create an atmosphere where all students and faculty feel comfortable and welcome to express their views as well as work together to solve conflict. Further, we view our mission as a center of diversity on a flagship campus as requiring us to lead by example.

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