- Associated Press - Sunday, November 23, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Five Californians are among 32 U.S. winners of this year’s Rhodes scholarships.

The California recipients are already pursuing, or have pursued, a variety of fields of study at such prestigious institutions as Harvard, Princeton, Brown and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Their names and those of the other U.S. winners were announced Sunday by the Rhodes Trust.

They include Palo Alto residents Rachel Skokowski, a French major at Princeton, and Elliot Akama-Garren, a biology major at MIT.

The other three are from Los Angeles.

David R.K. Adler, who is from LA’s Encino section, graduated with highest honors from Brown University, where he majored in development studies. After a semester at St. Stephen’s College of Delhi University in India, he is in Mexico on a Fulbright Research Fellowship.

Sarah E. Yerima is a sociology major at Princeton University. Her senior thesis is on the evolution of colorblindness in American jurisprudence and the perpetuation of racial inequality.

Benjamin D. Sprung-Keyser is a senior economics major at Harvard who is focusing on labor economics and unemployment issues.

Akama-Garren, who has conducted research on ways to manipulate the immune system to treat cancer and other diseases, has been published in the Journal of Immunology. He’s also co-captain of MIT’s ice hockey team.

Skokowski, whose interest is the arts, is committed to forging strong connections between museums and local communities as part of an effort to expose underprivileged children to the beauty of art.

The Rhodes Scholars program was established in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes and is one of the top academic awards for college students. Candidates must be endorsed by their schools to be considered. Recipients receive funding for multiple years of study at Oxford.


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