Once again, a Harker student is a Rhodes Scholar finalist. Tanya Schmidt ’08 was named a regional finalist this year, and this past weekend went through the final interview process, but was not selected as a Rhodes Scholar. Schmidt, a student at Santa Clara University (SCU), first applied for the scholarship in October. In a Q&A session with SCU, she said, “I submitted my application in early October. It requires a personal statement and a résumé, as well as up to eight recommendation letters. About a month later, I received an email saying I was a finalist.” She and 14 other finalists went up to San Francisco on Nov. 19 for an all-day interview to compete for two spots.
In 2010, Varun Sivaram ’07 was named a Rhodes Scholar and faculty and staff at Harker were pleased to hear Schmidt’s personal and academic accomplishments were receiving recognition. She has been described as “very special,” the kind of student who goes out of her way to say hello to you. SCU has similar praise for her, saying, “To say Schmidt is special is an understatement.”
The Rhodes Scholarship provides full financial support for 32 students across the United States to earn a degree at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. According to the Rhodes Trust, Rhodes Scholars are chosen “not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.”