- Associated Press - Sunday, November 22, 2015

ATLANTA (AP) - Two college students from Georgia are among 32 in the United States who have been named Rhodes scholars.

The Rhodes Trust announced in a statement that Emory University Senior Leah Michalove and Oberlin College senior Machmud Makhmudov of Lilburn have been chosen for the honor.

The scholarship is among the most prestigious awards given to college students. Nearly 90 students from around the world are annually chosen for the award, officials said. The scholarship will fund two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England, although the award may be used to fund four years of study in some cases.

Michalove of Sandy Springs is majoring in Middle Eastern and South Asian studies, Emory University officials said in a statement. Makhmudov, who was born in Uzbekistan, is a politics major with a minor in environmental and international studies.

Applicants are chosen based on academic excellence, ambition, ability to work with others and additional traits, Rhodes Trust officials said in a statement. Scholars are also expected to “be committed to make a strong difference for good in the world, be concerned for the welfare of others, and be conscious of inequities.”

The scholarship program was created by the will of Cecil Rhodes, a British imperialist, politician and businessman who expanded the British empire in Africa. The first class of Rhodes scholars began studying at Oxford in 1904, officials said.

Michalove and Makhmudov are expected to enter Oxford in October 2016.

Michalove spent a semester in Morocco and is a tutor in Arabic and Hebrew. She’s planning to pursue a master’s of philosophy in social anthropology.

“Leah represents the very best of the university as well as the ideal of a liberal arts education. A brilliant student with broad intellectual interests, she continually finds ways to integrate her scholarly interests into her community work - both on campus and off,” Robin Forman, dean of the Emory College of Arts and Sciences said in a statement.

Makhmudov interned for the White House Domestic Policy Council and in the office of Congressman John Lewis. Officials say Makhmudov is pursuing a master’s of public policy.

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