Rachel makes it a Rhodes double for 2004
Wednesday, 10 December 2003
University of Adelaide student Rachel Swift has beaten tough national competition to win one of three Rhodes Scholarships for Australia at Large.
Rachel, 23, from Urrbrae, is the second Adelaide student to win a Rhodes Scholarship this year, enabling her to study at Oxford University in the UK.
The Rhodes is one of the world's most prestigious scholarships and is offered annually in every State in Australia, plus three for Australia at Large. Bordertown's Phillip Killicoat was announced in October as the South Australian Rhodes Scholar for 2004.
"This is the second year in a row that University of Adelaide students have won both the Rhodes Scholarship for South Australia and for Australia at Large," says the Vice-Chancellor, Professor James McWha.
"Rachel Swift is now our 98th Rhodes Scholar over the 100 years of the Rhodes, and we are thrilled that our students continue to demonstrate their talent and ability in this way.
"Rachel represents the very best in Australia, not just because of her academic excellence but also because she has a well-rounded experience across many different fields, such as in sport and in community service.
"The University of Adelaide is proud to have played an important part in Rachel's development, and she is one of the ultimate examples of the kind of graduate our university aims to produce."
Rachel is a Science/Arts double-degree student at the University of Adelaide. She already completed her Bachelor of Science (Molecular Biology) degree in 2002, and this year received First Class Honours in Biochemistry. She is currently finishing her Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in politics and environmental studies.
The Rhodes Scholarship will allow her to study for a D.Phil (PhD) in Biochemistry at Oxford next year.
"It's very exciting," says Rachel of her Rhodes win. "You realise that you've just joined a group made up of outstanding people, and that is a great honour."
The Rhodes is awarded not just for academic excellence but also for quality achievement in community and sporting endeavours.
A past Vice-President of the Student Union, Rachel works as a volunteer for Community Aid Abroad and is President of the University of Adelaide Sports Association.
She is a talented volleyball player, with other sporting interests including scuba diving, swimming, water polo and ultimate frisbee.
Rachel says her student experience at the University of Adelaide has made a real impact on her life, providing excellent opportunities to develop a range of skills and interests.
"The University of Adelaide provides leading research environments competitive not just in Australia but around the world," Rachel says.
"As a student and a researcher, you get the benefit of working with outstanding teachers and mentors, which plays an important role in enriching university study."
Although it is still early days yet, Rachel aims to pursue a career that combines science with her interests in politics.
"I hope one day to lead a research group, and ultimately I would like to integrate my science with politics in order to contribute to the development of science policy," she says.
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Mr Hugh McClelland
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