Uni of Adelaide maths student is 2015 Rhodes Scholar

Thursday, 9 October 2014

University of Adelaide Pure Mathematics Masters student Kelli Francis-Staite is the 2015 Rhodes Scholar for South Australia.

Kelli (22) is the University's 108th Rhodes Scholar and late next year will use the Scholarship to start doctoral studies in mathematics at the University of Oxford.

Announcing the award yesterday, the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Hieu Van Le AO, said the Rhodes Scholarship recognised outstanding academic achievement, character, leadership and a commitment to community service.

"The calibre of the academic achievements of the eight finalists and the extent of their contributions to society through volunteering or other community service is remarkable and inspiring," Governor Le said.

"While such a strong field of candidates made the selection process a difficult task, I am delighted to announce that Ms Francis-Staite has been awarded the 2015 Rhodes Scholarship. I am certain Ms Francis-Staite will be an excellent ambassador for Australia and the Rhodes Trust, and I have great expectations for her future success at the University of Oxford."

University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Warren Bebbington said: "Our warmest congratulations go to Kelli Francis-Staite who is continuing a proud tradition of University of Adelaide Rhodes Scholars. She has already proven to be a great ambassador for the University of Adelaide.

"Her Rhodes Scholarship is a unique opportunity for her to build on her outstanding academic and leadership success and to continue to inspire others in mathematics. I'm sure we'll be hearing much more of her over the coming years."

Kelli was Dux of Brighton Secondary School in 2009 and an outstanding netballer and volleyball player until major knee injury saw her move into coaching and other leadership positions in netball and surf lifesaving.

At the University of Adelaide she has followed her passion for mathematics, and is currently completing her Masters' thesis in differential geometry, concerning solutions to the Einstein Field Equations. She is an active member of the Adelaide University Mathematics Society, a tutor and a member of the School of Mathematical Sciences Outreach committee, helping new students and encouraging others to follow her path into mathematics.

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 Scholarships support students who demonstrate strong propensity to emerge as 'leaders for the world's future'.


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Ms Robyn Mills
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