Two Georgia college students were recently named 2021 Rhodes scholars, WSBTV reports. 

Phaidra Buchanan and Sam Patterson were chosen as recipients of the 2021 Rhodes scholars honor, an international postgraduate award that is considered one of the most prestigious worldwide. Buchanan is a Tyrone, Georgia native who is a social studies education major at the University of Georgia (UGA), focusing on inequalities in the education system, segregation, and the history of slavery at UGA. Patterson is a Marietta, Georgia native who attends the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. As a Rhodes Scholar, the two will have the privilege of attending Oxford University in England for a minimum of two years. 

Simone Stacey, director of the UMBC Honors College, spoke about Patterson’s selection, saying, “Sam has an exceptionally fine mind, and couples to it diligence and determination. He has a genuine capacity for identification with others, and a deep commitment to justice, equity, and equality.” Patterson plans to pursue a master’s degree in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance, focusing on the economics of transportation at Oxford. 

S. Jack Hu, UGA Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, congratulated Buchanan on her selection, saying, “Phaidra Buchanan is now part of a distinguished legacy of Rhodes Scholars who studied at the University of Georgia. In addition to congratulating her, I also want to thank the faculty and staff in the Honors Program and across campus who supported Phaidra and helped make her success possible.”

Scholars were selected virtually this year for the first time in the scholarships’ 118 year history due to the coronavirus pandemic. Buchanan and Patterson join the other 30 recipients from the United States and honorees from more than 60 different countries selected for the prestigious honor. 


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