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Camila Pelsinger ’20 named Rhodes Scholar

Pelsinger to study Criminology and Criminal Justice at Oxford

Camila Pelsinger ’20 was awarded a 2020 Rhodes Scholarship Nov. 24, one of the most esteemed international fellowship awards.

Pelsinger, along with 31 other award recipients from the United States, will pursue a master’s degree at Oxford University beginning Oct. 2020. She will undertake a M.Sc. in Criminology and Criminal Justice and the Master of Public Policy.

“To be named a Rhodes Scholar is beyond anything I would have thought possible when I first got to Brown. In the past three and a half years, I’ve learned so much about myself and the ways in which I hope to serve the communities that I’m a part of through scholarship and activism,” Pelsinger wrote in an email to The Herald.

Pelsinger is the 57th student from Brown to earn the scholarship. Before Pelsinger, the most recent University student to receive the award was Rhea Stark ’18.5, who was awarded the scholarship last year.

Rhodes Scholarships pay all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England, which averages at about $70,000 per year. This year, 2,900 students began the application process and 963 were endorsed by 298 different colleges and universities. For the third consecutive year, the Rhodes class is majority-minority and approximately half are first-generation Americans. One is the first transgender woman elected to a Rhodes Scholarship; two other Scholars-elect are non-binary.

Pelsinger is concentrating in International Relations and Cognitive Neuroscience and has maintained a perfect grade point average. Her research as an undergraduate has taken “an interdisciplinary approach to examining violence and focuses on women in New Zealand and the United States who have created restorative justice programs to address gender-based violence in their communities,” according to her Rhodes Trust profile.

“More than anything, I am so grateful for the students across campus who have entrusted me with their stories of harm, and for those working to prevent and address violence in their own communities everyday. The Rhodes Selection Committee recognizing the value of this work gives me hope that more campuses will move towards decentralized practices and frameworks that support healing and transformation,” Pelsinger wrote.

Pelsinger served as Vice President of the Undergraduate Council of Students but stepped down from the role to take a class related to her research, AFRI 1030: “Contesting the Carceral State.” She wrote about her decision and passion for her research in a Feb. 5 op-ed to The Herald titled “My time at UCS.”



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