The University of Iowa

UI Senior Named Rhodes Scholar

November 22nd, 2010

By Rob Daniel, The Iowa City Press-Citizen

A senior at the University of Iowa has been named a Rhodes Scholar and will study at the University of Oxford in England next year.

Renugan Raidoo, 20, a senior in chemistry and anthropology from Sioux Falls, S.D., was selected as one of 32 American college students for the award by the Rhodes Trust. A Rhodes Scholarship, which provides all expenses for two or three years of study at Oxford as well as a stipend for living expenses and transportation to and from England, is arguably the “most famous academic award available to American college graduates,” according to a news release.

Raidoo, who attended high school with the other scholarship recipient from their district, University of Oklahoma student Sarah Swenson, said winning the award was a “surreal experience.”

“For me, this is something I knew was very coveted,” said Raidoo, who emigrated with his family from Durban, South Africa, to South Dakota in 2001. “For me, it was a strange experience to win it.”

The selection of a Rhodes Scholar is a two-part process, with colleges and universities first nominating students for the award. Finalists from 16 districts across the country then were picked and later interviewed by members of the selection committee, with Raidoo’s interview taking place Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo. The winners of the scholarship were announced Sunday.

Raidoo said he plans to pursue a master’s of philosophy in social anthropology or a doctorate in anthropology while at Oxford, which he will begin attending in October 2011.