The University of Chicago News Office
December 6, 1998 Press Contact: Julia Morse
(773) 702-8359

Rhodes Scholarship awarded to three University of Chicago students

University of Chicago senior Erin Bohula, recent graduate Maureen Dunne and senior Mira Lutgendorf have been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for study at the University of Oxford. This is the first time three Chicago students have received this prestigious scholarship in one year, bringing Chicago’s total number of Rhodes winners to 34.

“We are thrilled for Erin, Maureen and Mira––and we also think Oxford is fortunate to get them,” said Katie Nash, University of Chicago Dean of Students in the College. “The excellence they all have demonstrated at Chicago makes this a natural fit.”

  • Erin Bohula, 21 and Park Forest, Ill., native, plans to study a broad spectrum of oncology in order to one day lead in the fight against cancer. Bohula is currently a biology major who will graduate with honors this spring. She has received numerous awards for her lab research on cell division and regulation. She also has been accepted early to the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. When she is not in the lab, Bohula can be found playing ultimate frisbee or varsity softball.

    Dr. Stephen J. Kron M.D.-Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and an investigator in the Center for Molecular Oncology, has been Bohula’s research mentor since her freshman year. Dr. Kron, whose work focuses on control of cell division, said, “The word ‘student’ doesn’t do her justice. It’s really more accurate to say Erin is a young colleague, and one blessed with remarkable talent. In our world, Erin has star quality.”

  • Maureen Dunne, 22 and Downers Grove, Ill., native, plans to do research at Oxford to support changing the way society responds to the needs of developmentally disabled children. Dunne received a Bachelors degree in psychology and sociology and a Masters in psychology last June. She recently returned from teaching English and biology to HIV and AIDS-infected children in Zimbabwe. During her summers she has taught English in the Czech Republic and was a humanitarian aide in Bosnia and Croatia. Dunne is the author of numerous papers on autism, has received awards for her research on autism and is the founder of Reaching to Educate Austistic Citizens Through Hope. Dunne also plays the piano and is an avid rock-climber.

    “Maureen blends a deep interest in psychology and philosophy with an enduring concern about social welfare and social conditions,” said Dunnes’ mentor, Philip Jackson, University of Chicago David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Education and Psychology. “She is an extraordinary person.”

  • Mira Lutgendorf, 21 and an Iowa City, Iowa native, plans to study the relationship between cultural symbols and national identity. Eventually, she would like to establish a charter school focused on international understanding. Lutgendorf is a General Studies in the Humanities major focusing on the role art plays as a symbol of Italian national identity. Lutgendorf is fluent in Italian and Hindi, having completed Chicago’s intensive Italian language study program last spring in Pisa, Italy, and the intensive Hindi program in Mussorie, India in the summer of 1996. Lutgendorf enjoys playing the viola and reading fiction.

    “Mira is one of those exceptional students who inspires her professors with her ability to do research at such a young age,” said Rebecca West, Acting Chair, Department of Romance Languages and Literature. “Although she’s an undergraduate, Mira can jump into a subject as if she is a mature scholar.”

    The Rhodes Scholarship, one of the most prestigious academic scholarships, was established in the will of British colonial pioneer and statesman Cecil J. Rhodes and was initiated upon his death in 1902. Rhodes hoped that his plan of bringing able students from throughout the world to study at Oxford would aid in the promotion of international understanding and peace and the personal and intellectual development of his scholars. The scholarship provides a tuition and living stipend to 32 Americans for two years of study in any field at Oxford.

    Photos available: (300 dpi color jpegs)

    Last modified at 03:51 PM CST on Wednesday, June 14, 2000.

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