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2 men from NYC named among 32 Rhodes scholars


NEW YORK — Two New York City men are among the 32 American college students chosen as Rhodes scholars, the Rhodes Trust announced Sunday.

Neil Alacha, of Queens, and Andrew Kaplan, of Manhattan, will join a group of international students and will head to Oxford University in England starting next October for post-graduate studies.

Andrew Kaplan, 22, of Manhattan graduated from Brown University in 2015 with a major in political science. Since then he has been working on homelessness issues in New York City's Office of Operations. He plans to study comparative social policy at Oxford.

He told The Associated Press that he was "pretty honored," adding that the scholarship "was always something that I thought would be worth a shot, not ever thinking it would actually happen."

Kaplan said he would be studying what other countries do for social policy in the areas he's interested in, such as homelessness, and seeing if anything is applicable in the United States.

Alacha is a senior at Harvard University, where he is focusing on social studies. He plans to do his post-grad work on modern Middle Eastern studies at Oxford. He did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

The Rhodes Trust chose the American winners out of 869 applicants. The scholarships cover two or three years of study and are worth about $50,000 per year.

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