Global studies and political science senior Diana Fu was named a 2006 Rhodes Scholar last week.
Fu, also a Minnesota Daily columnist, is the third student from the University to receive the honor in five years.
“It was so surreal when it happened,” Fu said. “It’s just such a blessing.”
The Rhodes Scholarship will allow Fu to study for two years at Oxford University, where she plans to pursue a master’s degree in development studies. She will join 94 other students from around the world in the program.
“Diana’s high academic achievement, integrity of character and leadership ability distinguish her,” said Steven Rosenstone, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, in a University news release. “She holds every promise of fulfilling, throughout her lifetime, the hope of the Rhodes Trust that its scholars will “esteem the performance of public duties as their highest aim.’ “
Robert Fu said his daughter is fortunate to have the opportunity to study at Oxford.
Fu spent a year in China researching the challenges faced by rural women who move to cities looking for jobs.
“I wanted to look at the role an emerging civil society plays in promoting women’s rights,” Fu said.
Her senior paper, titled “A Cage of Voices: Producing the Dagongmei in China,” won an award for best original research paper from the Midwest Association of Asian Affairs. Fu will present her thesis at the Association for Asian Studies conference next year in San Francisco.
Fu has written other pieces while at the University. She has published several short-fiction stories and poems, and her essay “Free or Filtered Press” has been reprinted in the 2005 edition of the textbook “America Now.”
Many of her columns have been reprinted in other newspapers, and last year she received the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Award for Best Collegiate Journalism.
Fu said she is not sure what career or profession she will follow after Oxford, but said she is considering something in academia.
“I want to be a scholar who’s engaged in the community I’m studying,” Fu said. “I want to be part of a collective effort to make a difference.”
The Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes. Students are chosen on the basis of high academic achievement, potential for leadership, physical vigor, respect for others and integrity of character.