University awarded 105th Rhodes Scholar
Thursday, 13 October 2011
Medical student Mark Hassall has become the 105th student from the University of Adelaide to be awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.
Mark was announced as South Australia's 2012 winner at a ceremony at Government House yesterday.
The scholarship was presented by the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR, who described Mark as "an exceptional candidate in an extremely high quality field of eight young South Australians".
The prestigious scholarship, established by Cecil Rhodes, offers a unique opportunity for postgraduate students to study at the University of Oxford.
Mark is in his fifth year of a medical degree and has also completed a Bachelor of Medical Science at the University of Adelaide.
Winning the scholarship will give Mark the opportunity to study a Masters in Global Heath Science at the prestigious British university from October next year.
"I was pleasantly shocked to hear the result," he said.
Mark has a long list of academic and personal achievements.
These include his selection to participate in two, four-week medical electives in Oxford and Cambridge next year, and being awarded the University of Adelaide Medical School's 2010 research prize, where his findings were presented at the International Movement Disorders conference in Argentina.
In addition to this, he has been a past president of the Adelaide Medical Students' Society (AMSS), holds Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and completed the London Marathon in 2009.
He has also been awarded one of only three national Order of Australia Association Foundation Scholarships in recognition of his achievements in medicine.
Mark is passionate about Indigenous health, having spent time providing medical assistance within remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia and the APY lands.
"The challenge laid down by Cecil Rhodes 'to fight the world's fight' resonates strongly with my ambition to close the Indigenous life expectancy gap," Mark said.
"I aspire to be a national leader in Indigenous public health, as well as a medical specialist.
"Given Oxford's standing as one of the top five European universities in public health research, the supervisors and academic environment for this research project will greatly expand and strengthen my skills and abilities," he said.
Governor Scarce congratulated Mark on his outstanding academic achievement and "will watch with enormous interest as he embarks on an exciting study program in the field of health science at the University of Oxford".
"The Rhodes Scholarship has a tradition of acknowledging academic excellence and recognising the potential for scholars to show future leadership and make an outstanding contribution to society.
"I am confident that Mr Hassall will maintain this fine tradition," he said.
The Rhodes Scholarship perpetuates the commitment to learning, research and humanity of businessman and philanthropist, Cecil Rhodes, who died in 1902, leaving his estate to fund the scholarship.
Candidates are selected on the basis of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service. The Rhodes Scholarship supports students who demonstrate a strong propensity to emerge as "leaders for the world's future".