Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rye's Beshar Wins Rhodes

Rhodes Winner Beshar (Yale photo)

Right before the Rhodes Trust made official announcements of the 2013 winners of the Rhodes Scholarship, Isabel Beshar '14 of Rye, a finalist, had already prepared not to see her name on the list. She had composed thank-you messages to those who had provided recommendations before she endured a grueling series of interviews. And she was just about ready to send.  "I had drafted e-mails to all my professors thanking them for their help," she told the Journal News of Westchester.

Beshar, however, received a pleasant Thanksgiving Week surprise when she learned she was one of three Yale winners and one of two winners from New York State.  Vinay Nayak '14 and Suzanna Fritzberg '14 were also Yale winners, selected as representatives from Illinois and Washington, respectively. (Paolo Singer from the Bronx and Harvard was the other New York winner.)

"It's been a shock," Beshar told the Yale Daily News. "I keep asking my family if I've been dreaming this. The past few days have been kind of crazy."

Beshar is pursuing double majors at Yale in molecular, cellular and developmental biology and in the history of science and medicine. She plans to attend medical school one day.  For now, she will take a Rhodes detour to Oxford, where she will spend the next two years studying medical anthropology. She has special interests in public health and diabetes in developing countries.

She told the Journal News, "Just to be included was an honor. I did not expect this. I truly did not."

Yale students, including Beshar, spent the summer in Ecuador (Yale photo)
Beshar is the president of the Yale Public Health Coalition and spent last summer in Ecuador with fellow Yale students as part of the Yale-Ecuador HIV Clinic Initiative. She is also a Yale Global Health Initiative fellow.

In Ecuador last summer, she and other Yale students ran an HIV testing clinic in Manglaralto, Ecuador.

In Westchester, Beshar graduated from Rye Country Day in 2010, where she played on the ice hockey and field hockey teams. An injury prevented her from playing varsity field hockey at Yale. 

At Yale, she has written occasional columns on public health and health care for the Yale Daily News, including one where she recounts her own treatment experiences and possible side effects after suffering an ear infection in Ecuador.

The three 2013 Rhodes Scholars from Yale follow a record nine Rhodes winners from Yale in 2012.


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