Duke, UNC students win Rhodes Scholarships

Posted November 21, 2010 11:54 a.m. EST
Updated November 21, 2010 7:18 p.m. EST

— Seniors at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received prestigious Rhodes Scholarships that fund graduate studies in the United Kingdom.

Duke senior Jared Dunnmon, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and UNC senior Steven Paul Shorkey Jr., of Charlotte, were among 32 scholarship recipients selected from 837 applicants.

Shorkey, a double major in psychology and business administration, was the North Carolinian to win a Rhodes Scholarship this year.

"Paul's academic achievements and leadership at Carolina have been rivaled only by his concern for people with psychological impairments," UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp said in a statement. "I fully expect him to achieve groundbreaking work in that area and go on to improve the lives of many."

Shorkey has conducted studies on self-harm, and he'll teach a psychology course that he designed to UNC undergraduates this spring. He interned with World Vision International in Cambodia and India and volunteered with an HIV/AIDS project in South Africa.

"I want to be a leader in the movement toward research used to create effective, life-saving treatments that will transform the lives of people struggling with mental illness," Shorkey said in a statement.

He plans to pursue a masters of science in psychological research and neuroresearch at Oxford University. He wants to become a clinical psychologist and obtain a doctorate in the field.

Dunnmon is a mechanical engineering and economics major who has researched novel renewable energy sources.

"Jared Dunnmon has been a model Duke student in the breadth of his engagements, his pursuit of excellence and his use of academic learning to solve real-world problems,” Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead said in a statement.

Dunnmon designed and tested micro-wind turbines that could work in unusual places like between buildings. He also helped design Duke's certificate program in energy and the environment.

At Oxford, he will research the use of renewable fuels in gas turbines and jet engines. He plans to pursue a career in energy policy and research.

“The major challenge for my generation is to develop innovative technological and economic solutions that address the realities of dwindling resources without jeopardizing those that still remain,” Dunnmon wrote in his Rhodes application. “I want my life’s work to address what I believe to be the most difficult aspect of this challenge – making environmentally and economically sustainable development possible on a global scale by providing accessible energy from renewable sources.”

The Rhodes Scholarship, created in 1902, covers a student's full expenses during studies at Oxford University. The total value of the scholarship is estimated at $50,000 a year.