Rhodes rolling in

Written by

bikemonBwog’s caught wind that at least two Columbians are among the finalists for that prestigious prize named for diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes: Burma activist and jetsetting anthropology major Geoff Aung and CCSC President Michelle Diamond, for their home regions (New York and Florida respectively). We found no traces of the announcement, despite some assiduous googling, though we did find this fabulous photo illustration of the fast-paced life that awaits winners in at Oxford.



  1. That photo

    Looks like what would have happened if Magritte had programmed a video game set at Oxford.

  2. Michelle?  

    Really? Dry year?

  3. no,

    michelle does not. but i really can't think of anyone better than geoff.

    • ...

      haha, really??

      anonymous bwog commenter versus rhodes committee...... let's think who is a more qualified judge... damn, this is a tough one!

      Also, bwog, i'm surprised ya'll didn't make some sort of joke about rhodes being a diamond magnate and michelle's last name....

  4. michelle  

    is pretty qualified, i would think

  5. yes  

    she is really amazing. I think many people unjustly try to paint her as a "dumb blonde" when she is in fact extremely motivated and intelligent

  6. yah  

    there are actually like ten columbia finalists this year

  7. coogan


    Caution, ladies, he grinds his teeth.

    Good luck, Geoff.

    • GRINDER?!  

      Coogan Brennan is way off the mark. I heard Geoff's teeth at night approximate Machaut.

      • coogan

        Geoff is disqualified from the Rhodes by impersonating an objective third-party poster.

        BTW BWOG,

        I don't understand the tag "overachievement" for this post. Sure, I haven't studied Michelle Diamond's domestic policy as President of CCSC nor was I impressed by her response to the hunger strikes. But for Geoff to be a finalist in this contest, sponsored by The Oppressor Himself, for his work at a school for Burmese refugees speaks not for overachievement rather utmost humanist goals.

        Okay, okay. I'm just sucking up so I can be Chief of Staff when Aung is Secretary-General of the U.N.

  8. which is  

    more coveted? marshall or rhodes?

    • rhodes

      is the more coveted award. Columbia hasn't had a Rhodes Scholar since 2002.

      Having worked with Michelle on a student council initiative, I'm a little surprised...

      Good luck to both her and Geoff, bring one home for Alma Mater.

    • I would say  

      I would want the Marshall scholarship more. But the Rhodes is amazing, and good luck to everyone at Columbia who is a finalist...

  9. yup  

    he does grind his teeth. i hope they took that into consideration.

  10. Rhodes for Geoff  

    Geoff definitely deserves a rhodes, though it is a rather ironic accolade given how racist and colonially driven Rhodes was and what a social advocate Geoff is.

    As for Michelle, I'm sure she put a strong application together, and whether she deserves it or not, I don't think she should be criticized by random bwog posts.

    • Anonymous  

      A voice of reason? On MY internets? GTFO.

    • some respect people

      Agreed - why our community insists on using bwog posts to spew anonymous bile is completely beyond me.

      Every interaction I have ever had with Michelle confirms her intelligence. I have no doubt that she and Geoff both deserve the scholarship.

      More importantly though, I don't waste my time and karma pointlessly doubting other people's intelligence.

  11. insider  

    actually, there are about 15 rhodes finalists this year, at columbia. they're also from almost all the different regions, meaning that there's a good chance that columbia will win at least one.

    and both geoff and michelle are fantastic people who are extremely qualified. quit hating, people, and give them some props.

  12. my two cents

    i really don't think it's appropriate to publicize rhodes finalists. although it is truly a great honor, there are reasons why finalists aren't named publicly.

  13. Hang on a second

    There are most definitely not ten, 15, or any more Rhodes finalists at Columbia. Universities are allowed to nominate up to four students. Typically, everyone who wants to apply first applies within Columbia, and then the school picks the best four. *Then* those four are put into the actual competition, along with I think about a thousand other kids. The Rhodes committee picks finalists to call for interviews and then selects 32 winners.

    In short, Columbia can have a maximum of four finalists, because it is allowed to enter a maximum of four students.

  14. hmm

    All of a sudden, now that we have a competent dean of fellowships, we're actually well organized and in the hunt to win stuff? Nice.

  15. OldOxonian

    I was a former Rhodes finalist for Columbia. Didn't get the scholarship, but ended up going to Oxford on another source of funding anyway. Several things to say. First, it's great that Columbia finally got it's damn act together. I got absolutely no support from Kathleen McDermott's office, which was a real shame. We can easily see that from the relatively low number of Rhodes/Marshalls compared to peer institutions.
    The other thing to say is that, despite the continuing mystique of the Rhodes, it is really not a very good source of funding anymore. The Rhodes Trust has lost a lot of money over the past decade or so, which is probably one reason they've brought in Colin Lucas (former VC of the university) to manage the funds. People should definitely still apply, but if your purpose is to really study in Europe, there are better sources of funding out there.
    Finally, just about the competition: there are multiple levels. You apply through your school, then do a state interview (by invitation), and then if you succeed here, you move onto the regional interview, which is where the scholars are finally selected. You all might be mixing up "finalists" with "state finalists." Minor difference.

    • Confused  

      Thanks for the clarification. It sounds like perhaps Columbia had about 10 state finalists, and then Geoff and Michelle were the only two "finalists" who'll be in the regional selection.

  16. hey coogan  

    get over yourself

  17. actually

    there's no such thing as a 'state finalist' anymore. they got rid of that a few years ago. there's only one final round.

    not sure whether marshall or rhodes is more coveted. they are equally difficult to get, and they almost never choose the same people.

    • OldOxonian

      Re "state finalist"

      Ah, I didn't know that. Actually, it's for the better. Streamlines the process and makes it much fairer, I think, rather than being disadvantaged by the accident of your state residence. Also makes it more comparable to how the scholars are selected in the other participating countries.

      Good luck Columbia finalists!

  18. Fairly certain that  

    none of the Rhodes Scholar judges are reading the BWOG. So I doubt it's all that necessary to go out of your way to champion either Finalist.

  19. alum


    CU has one -- Mr R. Jisung Park

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.