Emanuel wins Rhodes Scholarship
By John Biberman
Published on Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Gabrielle Emanuel ’10 has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, the Rhodes Trust, which administers the scholarship, announced on Saturday. Emanuel is the 73rd Dartmouth student to receive the scholarship, which allows winners to pursue a graduate program of their choice at Oxford University.
Emanuel — who majored in history while at the College — will use the scholarship to pursue a doctorate in Development Studies, focusing on ethical perspectives on international development, she said in an interview with The Dartmouth. She said she was surprised she received the award because of the large number of talented candidates.
“I didn’t expect to get it because I was so impressed by the other applicants,” Emanuel said. “They were are really nice, smart, thoughtful people.”
Emanuel is currently in Mali, where she expects to work with the Malaria Research and Training Center to improve rural water access and purification. The project will help her understand how to apply development programs based on geographical locations and cultural sensitivities, she said.
Many of Emanuel’s former instructors said they were glad to see her receive the award, praising her vision and drive to help others.
“If you are hungry, [Emanuel] will find a way to feed you,” woodworking instructor Dudley Whitney said. “If you are downtrodden, she will gently lift your spirits. If you are thirsty, she will help you find water. Your relief will be her joy.”
A Rufus Choate Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society, Emanuel graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth. During her time at the College, she worked to provide health care to Boston’s homeless population, help rural Ugandans attend American universities and support microfinance in India, according to a College press release.
Emanuel was a member of the Dartmouth equestrian team and is a photographer whose work has been published nationally, according to a Rhodes Trust press release.
Art history professor Marlene Heck said she felt that Emanuel’s devotion to marginalized groups will put her on the front lines of international humanitarian work.
“[Emanuel’s] love of learning is perfectly balanced by her love for mankind,” Heck said in an e-mail to The Dartmouth. “This was one of the greatest honors that could be bestowed upon her, and her life will be changed in the most wonderful ways as she uses her talents in service to the powerless.”
Sally Batton, head coach of the equestrian team, said that Emanuel has displayed focus and drive, committing herself as an active member of the team despite being involved in many other activities.
“She really has great self motivation to get a job done,” Batton said. “I think she’s totally capable of doing everything she sets her mind to.”
Others praised Emanuel for her humility.
“She strikes me as amazingly unpretentious, for how much she has accomplished,” philosophy professor Ann Bumpus said. “She is genuinely concerned with helping other people.”
She was also involved with Students Stand with Staff and Students Fighting Hunger, according to the College release.
The Rhodes Scholarship, a prestigious post-graduate award, was established in 1902 after the death of famed diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes. It is intended to bring outstanding students from around the world to Oxford, according to the scholarship’s website.