Monday, December 03, 2007

Congratulations, Andrea DenHoed

OU has run a nice ad in The Oklahoman today congratulating their 27th Rhodes Scholar - Andrea M. DenHoed. The story reports that "OU's Adrea DenHoed was recently named one of the 32 Rhodes Scholars in the United States. She is a senior majoring in letters and international studies. Andrea writes a column for the OU Daily. She does volunteer work as a tutor and taught English to elementary school students in Bangalore, India. She plans to pursue an English degree at Oxford University, England, as a Rhodes Scholar and hopes to have a career in teaching."

Saja Forum has a nice story on her and Indo Link reports:

University of Oklahoma senior Andrea M. DenHoed is still in shock after being named a 2008 American Rhodes Scholarship recipient Sunday. "I don't think it's sunk in yet. I can't really believe it yet. I'm thinking somebody made a big mistake," the OU letters and international studies major from Aurora, Colo. said.

Andrea DenHoed's mother Nancy, who is from India, home-schooled her and three siblings in their Aurora home. Her dream of attending Oxford University began when she was 12 and learned that one of her favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, had gone there. Her mother didn't want to dampen her enthusiasm but was realistic. "I told her if she wanted to go to Oxford, the only way she could is if she was a Rhodes Scholar," recalled her mother.

"It's amazing," Andrea Denhoed said Sunday. "It's something I've wanted for a decade."

Her mother, a native of India, met her father, Jeffrey Denhoed, when she was a student English teacher at the University of Wyoming. Nancy Denhoed's biggest achievement may be teaching her own kids. Andrea's older sister went to the U.S. Air Force Academy. One brother is a mechanical engineer. Her youngest brother is in high school.

"She is extraordinary," Andrea said of her mother. "She taught us to be extremely hard workers. She taught us to be intellectually curious. She made us read a lot."

Although the Rhodes Scholarships have a reputation for a grueling, complex application and interview process, "it was all right," DenHoed said about her experience. "I got the campus nomination and then that was sent off. From the whole region they select the top 16 and I didn't expect even to make it into that but I did ... I'm really competitive but I didn't feel like I was a shoo-in at all. I thought I really messed up one of the interviews at one point. Obviously, the judges felt otherwise and that's good."

DenHoed plans to pursue a B.A. in English language and literature at Oxford.

"We are very proud that Andrea DenHoed is carrying on the great OU Rhodes Scholarship tradition," OU President David Boren said. "She meets the highest standards of academic excellence and personal integrity."

DenHoed is a National Merit Scholar and expected to graduate with honors Summa cum Laude in May 2008. She participated in the OU Honors College Honors at Oxford program in 2005 where she worked with Dr. Duncan Wu of St. Catherine's College, Oxford. In her international studies curriculum at OU, DenHoed has focused on South Asia. Her interests in literature have been wide-ranging, from the classics to modern English. She is active in campus life as a bi-weekly opinion columnist for The Oklahoma Daily, OU's student newspaper, and rows for the OU Crew team. She also co-founded and edits a new student publication, works as a tutor, and taught
English to elementary school students in Bangalore, India.

When asked about the newspaper, DenHoed was excited and optimistic. "It's actually a new one we're in the process of getting advertisers and contributors lined up for. It's set to go next year and it's called 'The Mouth,'" she said. "The goal of 'The Mouth' is to fill the gaps we see among the existing publications on campus. We want it to be smart and entertaining and intelligent but accessible to all of the student body as well. It's more of a commentary and review thing, it's not news exactly -- more like 'Harper's' and 'The New Yorker.

"She was pretty excited," her father said about the scholarship. "She had a vision. But you never expect it to be you."

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