An Emory University student and a Georgia Tech student have been named Rhodes Scholars.
The Emory student is Chelsea Jackson. The Georgia Tech student is Calvin Runnels.
The 32 scholarship awards were notable this year for the diversity of the recipients. The class includes 10 African Americans, the most ever elected in a U.S. Rhodes class a press release from the Rhodes Trust says. Jackson is African American. Runnels is only the second self-acknowledged transgender Rhodes Scholar, according to the press release. Recipients will receive an all-expenses paid opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in England for two to three years.
Here are the profiles of Jackson and Runnels, provided by the Rhodes Trust:
Chelsea A. Jackson, Lithonia, is a senior at Emory University, where she is pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and African-American Studies, and an M.A. in Political Science. She is a Truman Scholar. Her research explores how civil rights activists and government officials deployed the criminal justice system to achieve diametrically opposed goals. Her master’s thesis will focus on prosecutorial discretion and race. Chelsea is one of the primary campus leaders of the Racial Justice Initiative, an effort to create and sustain a more inclusive and engaging campus and is the Co-Founder of Atlanta Black Students United. She also helped to revive Emory’s chapter of the NAACP. Chelsea serves as the Musical Director of AHANA A Capella. At Oxford, Chelsea will read for an M.Sc. in Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Calvin Runnels, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a senior at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is pursuing a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and maintains a 4.0 GPA. Calvin’s research advances protein crystallographic techniques and investigates origins of the ribosome, which may provide insight into the origins of life. A passionate educator, Calvin is dedicated to “helping others find the joy and satisfaction in learning as I have.” At Georgia Tech, Calvin has been recognized as the highest rated Teaching Assistant for his work in undergraduate mathematics. An effective activist, Calvin has organized rallies in solidarity with the immigrant community and has led efforts to increase the number of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus. Calvin was also appointed by the President of Georgia Tech to co-chair the university’s LGBT+ Action Committee. Calvin is a transgender male. He follows Pema McLaughlin, the first self-acknowledged transgender American Rhodes Scholar (elected in 2016). At Oxford, Calvin will read for a D.Phil. in Biochemistry.