Three people with Pennsylvania ties chosen as Rhodes Scholars

Written by The Associated Press | Nov 20, 2017 2:40 AM

FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, file photo, Cadet Simone Askew, of Fairfax, Va., who has been selected first captain of the U.S. Military Academy Corps of Cadets for the upcoming academic year, answers questions during a news conference, in West Point, NY. Askew earned another prestigious honor Sunday, Nov. 19, when she was one of 32 Americans awarded Rhodes scholarships to study at Oxford University in England. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Philadelphia) -- The first Rhodes Scholar winner from Temple University is among three people with Pennsylvania ties who have received the honor.

Hazim Hardeman, a Philadelphia resident who graduated from Temple in May, and Alan Yang, a Dresher resident who attends Harvard University, are among the 32 American recipients announced Sunday. Also in that group was Christopher D'Urso, a New Jersey resident who attends the University of Pennsylvania.

The 2017 scholars were chosen from a group of 866 applicants who were endorsed by 299 colleges and universities for post-graduate studies at Oxford University in England. The scholarships cover all expenses for two or three years of study starting next October. In some cases, the scholarships may allow funding for four years.

The scholarships are worth about $68,000 per year, according to the Rhodes Trust.

Hardeman graduated magna cum laude from Temple with a concentration in strategic communication. He grew up four blocks from the university. He previously attended the Community College of Philadelphia, where he graduated with high honors.

Hardeman's research interests include critical pedagogy, race and politics and African-American intellectual history. He has written on hip-hop music, gun control and the prison abolition movement and serves as a substitute teacher in the Philadelphia School District. He also was a fellow in the Philadelphia mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and took a course on death and dying in a prison hospice program.

He will seek a master of science degree in higher education at Oxford.

Yang is a senior majoring in molecular and cellular biology. He has a perfect academic record, has done research in four laboratories and has written articles published in four peer-reviewed journals. He also won a gold medal in the Young Artist's division of the World Piano Championships and the Harvard prize for Latin translation as a junior, even though he never studied Latin in college.

Yang will compete in the National Intercollegiate Running Club Association Championships. He also won the Harvard Innovation Award for the outstanding extracurricular project, one that sends musicians into nursing homes, and is a student representative on the Harvard Faculty Committee for Public Service. He hopes to bring together the field of immunology and migration studies to improve the way we track and treat resistant infections.

Yang will seek a master of science in integrated immunology at Oxford.

D'Urso is a senior who will receive a bachelor's degree in international relations and a master's degree in public administration through the University's Fels Institute of Government. He has a perfect grade point average in both programs.

D'Urso is interested in consumer protection and testified before Congress in 2014 on revamping country of origin labeling laws. He also is the founding president of "Penn CASE," a community service organization that provides consumer assistance, support and education to Philadelphia residents and Penn students. He will seek a master of science degree in criminology and criminal justice at Oxford.

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