Four young scholars with Bay Area ties are among the 32 Americans winning elite Rhodes Scholarships to enroll in graduate studies at Oxford University beginning next year.

They include a senior and a graduate student from Stanford, a UC Berkeley science student and a senior from Yale University who hails from Larkspur in Marin County.

The students were selected from among 1,700 applicants.

The Rhodes Trust will award each a scholarship worth about $50,000 a year. The award includes academic fees, travel and a stipend for expenses for three and sometimes four years. Scholars from the United States will join those chosen from other countries, mostly former British colonies.

  • Stanford senior Margaret C. Hayden, of Brunswick, Maine: Majoring in human biology and ethics in society, Hayden wrote an honors thesis is on the ethical implications of biological conceptions of mental illness and personhood. She has published two papers and served as a patient advocate. At Oxford she plans to study medical anthropology.

  • Stanford grad student Rachel R. Kolb, of Los Ranchos, N.M.: A master's student in English, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in June with a major in English and minor in human biology. She is managing editor of the arts and literature magazine Leland Quarterly, and has been active with Christian ministries and in disability advocacy. She is hearing impaired, and her Rhodes interview included the use of a sign interpreter. Kolb plans to study contemporary literature.


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  • UC Berkeley senior Daniel A. Price, of Grass Valley: He will graduate with bachelor's degrees in bioengineering and in electrical engineering and computer sciences. He also has a major in physics. He has researched medical robotics and worked on a new imaging technology called magnetic particle imaging. He plans to study bioengineering.

  • Yale senior Catherine Laporte-Oshiro, of Larkspur: Majoring in ethics, politics and economics with a concentration on Chinese state capitalism, she has interned in Hong Kong, taught English in Nanjing and has served as an economics intern for Sen. Dianne Feinstein. She plans to focus on modern Chinese studies.

    Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and African colonist. They are awarded on the basis of academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor. Those characteristics are intended to fulfill Rhodes' hopes that scholars would make a positive contribution throughout the world.

    Contact Sharon Noguchi at 408-271-3775. Follow her at Twitter.com/NoguchiOnK12.