Seniors Named Rhodes Scholars

Pfoho and Mather residents win prestigious scholarship to attend Oxford

Kyle Q. Haddad-Fonda ’09 and Malorie N. Snider ’09 have been named among the 32 American men and women chosen as Rhodes Scholars, according to a press release issued by the Rhodes Trust Saturday.

The Rhodes Scholarship, one of the most widely recognized academic scholarships in the world, provides an all-expenses paid academic experience at the University of Oxford in England. The criteria for selection include “high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others potential for leadership, and physical vigor,” according to the scholarship’s Web site.

Snider, a resident of Friendswood, Texas and a senior in Mather House, is studying biological anthropology. She said her particular interests lie in the interactions between cultural beliefs and scientific and medical practice.

According to Snider, how “social cultural beliefs and institutions interact with biology to shape human perception of illness, medical treatments, and medical practices that occur within a particular society” interest her the most.

Snider, who was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa her junior spring, conducts research with psychiatry professor Jordan W. Smoller at the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit at Harvard Medical School.

Kathryn A. Brubaker ’09 said she was not surprised when she heard that her roommate was among this year’s Rhodes Scholars.

“Naturally, she’s just one of the smartest people I know,” she said. “She works really hard.”

Snider said she hopes to attend medical school after Oxford. Ultimately, she said will specialize in psychiatry and neurological research.

Haddad-Fonda, who is concentrating in history and near-eastern languages and civilizations and is a resident of Pforzheimer House, said he is planning a doctorate in oriental studies at Oxford.

“It’s still overwhelming at this point, just to get the opportunity to meet other people involved in the process,” Haddad-Fonda said.

He has taken both Mandarin and Arabic classes at the College and has conducted research in Beijing and Cairo under Professor Xiao Yuan Liu, then a visiting professor at Harvard.

Explaining his research interests in oriental studies, Haddad-Fonda said that in order to understand current Sino-Arab affairs, a historical perspective is necessary, especially with regard to the 1950s, when China and the Middle-East first began to have closer contact with each other.