TRENTON, N.J. — Three New Jersey residents have been chosen as Rhodes Scholars.
Christopher D’Urso, a Colts Neck resident who attends the University of Pennsylvania; Jordan Thomas, a Princeton University student who lives in South Plainfield, and Jasmine Brown, a Hillsborough resident who attends Washington University in St. Louis, were among the 32 American recipients announced Sunday.
The 2017 scholars were chosen from a group of 866 applicants who were endorsed by 299 colleges and universities for post-graduate studies at Oxford University in England. The scholarships cover all expenses for two or three years of study starting next October. In some cases, the scholarships may allow funding for four years.
The scholarships are worth about $68,000 per year, according to the Rhodes Trust.
D’Urso is a senior who will receive a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a master’s degree in public administration through the University’s Fels Institute of Government. He has a perfect grade point average in both programs.
D’Urso is interested in consumer protection and testified before Congress in 2014 on revamping country of origin labeling laws. He also is the founding president of “Penn CASE,” a community service organization that provides consumer assistance, support and education to Philadelphia residents and Penn students. He will study for a master of science in criminology and criminal justice at Oxford.
Thomas is a senior at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He’s also studying Portuguese language and culture and African-American studies. He was a Fulbright Summer Institute Fellow at the University of Bristol where he studied the culture, heritage and history of the United Kingdom.
Thomas also interned at the Office for Civil Rights’ Program Legal Group at the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative. He plans to seek a master’s degree in philosophy in evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation at Oxford.
Brown is a senior majoring in biology with a focus in neuroscience. She also has done cancer research at the Broad Institute, pulmonary research at Johns Hopkins and behavioral science at the University of Miami.
She has done extensive research on genetics and the West Nile virus. She also founded the Minority Association of Rising Scientists that works to help minority students in science and technology. She also has tutored high school students and danced in a theater production.
Brown will seek a doctor of philosophy degree in physiology, anatomy and genetics at Oxford.