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Scholars head to England

A current Duke student and a recent graduate are heading to Great Britain as recepients of two of the world's most prestigious scholarships. Senior Ethan Eade has accepted a Marshall Scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge and Pooja Kumar, Trinity '00, will make her way to the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Only 32 Americans recieved Rhodes Scholarships this year, which pay for all tuition and expenses for as long as the individual needs to complete his or her course of study. Kumar, a second-year student at Harvard Medical School who graduated with a Program II major of health policy and social values, will pursue a master of philosophy degree in international relations at Oxford.

"I was shocked and elated when the decision was announced," Pooja wrote in an e-mail. "I hope that the opportunity to gain a strong foundation in IR will allow me to supplement my medical training, in order to address the problems that arise at the intersection of war and health."

A distinctly international outlook and a commitment to the underprivileged has come through in many of Kumar's notable achievements. She traveled to East Timor in the summer of 2000 to conduct assessments for the Save the Children Federation. There, she helped design a national maternal and child health program and delivered health services to street children. While a junior at Duke, she did an independent study of the mid-1990s cholera outbreak among Rwandan refugees. She has also worked with refugees in Azerbaijan, children afflicted with AIDS in India and the terminally ill in Calcutta.

Photography has been a frequent vehicle for Kumar's social work. She has worked with pediatric patients at Duke University Hospital, teaching them to use photography to express their views of illness and their own lives. She received a John Hope Franklin student award through the Center for Documentary Studies and used it in East Timor, teaching the street children to use cameras to describe their experiences before, during and after violence struck the area. Kumar has been recognized as a top student both by USA Today and Glamour Magazine. She hails from Doylestown, Penn.

The Marshall Scholars program was established by an act of the British Parliament in 1953 and named for former U.S. Secretary of State John Marshall. Up to 40 scholars are selected each year to participate in the program, which invites selected U.S. citizens to study in the United Kingdom for up to two years.

Eade, a computer science and mathematics double major, plans to enroll in the engineering department at Cambridge to pursue a master's degree in information technology. Eventually, he hopes to become a computer science professor.

"I'd like to express my gratitude to my professors and colleagues who have given me so many opportunities while I've been at Duke and who have made my journey so enjoyable," Eade said. "I'm extremely honored to receive the award and am very much looking forward to spending the next two years at Cambridge studying more nifty things."

Like Kumar before him, Eade is an A.B. Duke Scholar. He has participated in computer network research with associate computer science professor Amin Vahdat and is the lead software engineer for the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle project of the Duke Robotics Club. Eade was one of four Duke students selected for the $7,500 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in Science, Mathematics and Engineering, given to up to 300 students nationwide each year. He also won this year's Faculty Scholar Award, which represents the University's highest honor for undergraduates bestowed by the faculty.

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