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Luther College Senior Named Rhodes Scholar

DECORAH, Iowa - A Luther College student is among the 32 U.S. students selected Sunday as 2013 Rhodes Scholars.

Georgianna Whiteley, of Wayzata, Minn., is a senior majoring in chemistry and minoring in biology at the Decorah college and is a varsity tennis player. She also has worked on projects at the nanoscience and nanotechnology institute at the University of Iowa. She said she wants to become a doctor dealing with global health issues.

Whiteley said she has always wanted to be a doctor, but her path toward becoming a Rhodes Scholar started in her sophomore year when she spent her January term in Tanzania, studying the Maasai, one of the indigenous cultures in the east African country.

"I came back from Tanzania with the idea that I no longer just wanted to be a physician, but a physician that is not only culturally sensitive but deals with more global health issues and global health inequities," Whiteley said.

Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes and have a value of about $50,000 per year. The students, who will study at Oxford University in England beginning next October, are selected based on a core set of criteria: academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor.

Whiteley and the other American students will join an international group of scholars selected from 14 other jurisdictions around the world. About 80 scholars are selected each year.

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