Genevieve Quist, who graduated from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) in 2005, has been awarded a 2007 Rhodes Scholarship. She will begin her master's in philosophy degree in comparative social policies at the University of Oxford, England, in October 2007.
Quist who lives in Santa Monica, Calif., is in her second year of teaching sixth-grade English and social studies at Drew Middle School in South Central Los Angeles under the Teach for America (TFA) program. She has also served as TFA's campaign coordinator and learning team leader, in addition to her work as a mentor for at-risk youth and a counselor for survivors of sexual abuse.
"It is an incredible honor to be chosen for the scholarship to study at Oxford. My experience as a core member for Teach for America has impressed upon me the importance of creating more educational and economic opportunities for the working poor," said Quist. "I look forward to doing research and designing policies that will help provide America's poor with meaningful choices over the quality of their lives and communities."
Quist began her study at Cornell in 2002 and was named a Merrill Presidential Scholar in her senior year. The Merrill Presidential Scholarship is a recognition given to graduating seniors from the top 5 percent of their class who have demonstrated outstanding scholastic achievement, strong leadership ability and potential for contributing to society. Quist also received the Daniel Alpern Senior Award for exemplary scholarship, leadership and service to Cornell's ILR School in 2005.
"Genevieve was one of the most dynamic and brightest students I had at Cornell," said Jefferson Cowie, associate professor of labor history in the ILR School. "I have no doubt that her experience at Oxford will add an international dimension to her work focused on social equality in the U.S., well demonstrated by her tireless work with Teach for America."
The daughter of Peter Quist and Diane Tallant of Williston, Vt., Quist attended Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington, Vt. Quist took her freshman year at St. Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.
"She is a person who wants to make a difference in the world. She has a great interest in welfare and poverty issues," said Peter Quist, a partner in Grubb, Quist and Associates, labor relations consultants, in Waterbury, Vt.
The Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and colonial pioneer. Selection criteria for scholars include "high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor." Approximately 95 scholars are selected worldwide each year.