December 10, 2001
UNM STUDENT NAMED RHODES SCHOLAR
the second time in recent years, a University of New Mexico student has been
selected a Rhodes Scholar shortly after receiving the prestigious Truman Scholarship.
Biochemistry major John Probasco, from Alamogordo, was announced Sunday as
one of 32 U.S. students who will receive the 2002 scholarship to study at Oxford
University in England.
UNM student Manuel Montoya also was named both a Truman and Rhodes Scholar
Probasco, 22, is a 1998 graduate and class valedictorian from Alamogordo High
School. He received a Regents' Scholarship to attend UNM and was the recipient
of a Goldwater Scholarship in 2000. In May of this year he received the Truman
Scholarship in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo.
Probasco will graduate from UNM in the spring and, in October, leaves for the
University of Oxford in England to study medical ethics in a program that combines
psychology, philosophy, and physiology.
"It's exciting, humbling, too," Probasco said. "I will take
advantage of the opportunity and also have a good time there."
At UNM, Probasco became interested in the translation of basic science to clinical application and public theory development. As a summer intern for three years running, he conducted clinical research on neurological and stroke disorders at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C.
Probasco also worked with UNM researchers who authored a study on a rare form
of muscular dystrophy found in northern New Mexico. Their findings were published
last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Currently an ASUNM senator serving as chief justice of the student court, he
has served on UNM Strategic Planning Task Force and Residence Halls Association
committees and volunteered as a tutor at Jefferson Middle School since 1998.
In August, will begin assistant coaching for a boy's soccer team in Rio Rancho.
"In addition to his exceptional academic performance, John has dedicated
numerous hours to University and community service. He epitomizes the qualities
of a Rhodes Scholar," said UNM President William C. Gordon.
The 2002 Rhodes Scholars were chosen Sunday from 925 applicants endorsed by 319 colleges and universities in a nationwide competition. Rhodes Scholarships provide two or three years of study at Oxford. The oldest of the international study awards available to American students, the will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and colonial pioneer, created the scholarships in 1902.
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