March 2004 - One for the Books. By Tom Griffin. Photo by Kathy Sauber.

Rarified Air
UW Rhodes Scholars Since 1960

Steven Crown, '80Steven Crown, '80

A native of Kalama, Crown double majored in Russian and history at the UW. He was an exchange student in Russia in 1978 while enrolled at the UW and took time off to work for a joint venture between U.S. and Soviet fishing interests. Crown studied Russian at Queen's College in Oxford, where he took to the English tutorial system of higher education. "I loved it. It was a dream come true," he says. He also found time to row on the college's crew team. After his studies at Oxford and one year working for the Rhodes Trust, he entered Yale Law School, where he specialized in Soviet law and earned his degree in 1987. The new lawyer worked for the Seattle law firm of Preston, Gates and Ellis before starting out on his own, specializing in Soviet and then Russian law. He had a front-row seat for the collapse of the Soviet Union, traveling to that nation about 70 times over a 10-year period. "I knew it was decayed. I just wasn't ready for it to crumble so quickly," he says. In 1998 he joined the legal team at Microsoft, where he is an associate general counsel for the Windows Client Legal Team. "It's a dream legal job that combines the best of two worlds, academics and law," he says.

Peter Glomset, '80Peter Glomset, '80
Southborough, Mass.

Son of UW Medicine Professor John Glomset, Peter triple majored in English, comparative literature and Spanish when he was an undergraduate at the UW. He spent three years at St. John's College at Oxford, where he earned two degrees in Renaissance English. "The English tutorial system is a wonderful way to teach writing and to learn how to think critically," he says. "It reoriented me as to what my teaching should be." After his studies at Oxford, he came back to the UW, where he finished his Ph.D. in English in 1992. He taught writing in the UW's interdisciplinary writing program for three years before traveling to Senegal to teach at the Université Cheikh Anta Dip on a Fulbright Fellowship. He also taught at Villanova University before moving to the Boston area, where he teaches at St. Mark's School in Southborough, Mass. He remembers best the freedom at Oxford. "You are not exhausted by taking classes all the time. That's what I found transformative about it. You had the freedom to follow your interests," he says.

Jean McCollister, '82
Battle Ground, Ind.

The first woman from the UW to become a Rhodes Scholar (the scholarship was only open to men until 1977), McCollister was a double major in zoology and Slavic languages and literature at the UW. She also broke the gender barrier at the UW and at Oxford by playing rugby on the men's teams. The Oxford team, called Oxford Old Boys, let her play wing at practice, but when they tried to put her on the field during a game, the other side protested and she was forced to sit out the match. "To make things a thousand times worse, some journalist was there, the tabloids picked up the story, and everything got blown up way out of the proportion," she recalls. "I was the subject of a disapproving editorial in The Times as well as a stern warning letter sent to the Old Boys by the head of the England Rugby Football Union." Forced out of the male leagues, she later captained one of the first women's rugby teams in the UK. At Oxford, she studied Soviet environmental policy while enrolled at Sommerville College (then one of three all-women colleges). She later attended the University of Ljubljana in what is now Slovenia, where she witnessed the breakup of Yugoslavia. "I got married in Ljubljana Castle a week before it was bombed by the Yugoslav army after Slovenia declared its independence," she says. She divides her time between that nation and Indiana, where her husband is on the faculty at Purdue University. McCollister is a journalist, a teacher of English, a translator and an author. She is writing a book "based on a long-distance alpine hike across Slovenia" that covers her 15 years in that country. "For me the Rhodes served as a stepping stone to a life outside the U.S., which I had always hankered for anyway. Once I left for Europe, I never really expected to come back," she says.

Michael Anderson, '85Michael Anderson, '85

Anderson grew up on Lummi Island near Bellingham, and was a commercial fisherman while he attended the UW, studying political science. In 1985, before he left for Oxford, he was named the UW's President's Medalist. He spent two years at St. John's College in Oxford studying anthropology and then a year at the University of London studying law. Even as a Rhodes Scholar, he returned every summer to continue commercial fishing with his father and brother. He currently works for the British government in the Department for International Development and chairs an international committee that is looking at how humanitarian organizations can better respond to states that collapse, such as Somalia or Liberia. He also teaches part-time at the London School of Economics. "The most terrific thing about the Rhodes Scholarship is that it is so generous," he says. "It creates the space that allows us to do the work."

Emma Brunskill, '00
Cambridge, Mass.

Emma Brunskill is now a graduate student in computer science at MIT, where she is studying artificial intelligence and machine learning. After growing up in Seattle and Edmonds, Brunskill came to the UW at age 15 as an early entry student. She majored in physics and in computer science and engineering. The honors student was also a Goldwater Scholar, a Mary Gates Scholar and an Anderson Scholar. Brunskill also served as the UW coordinator for Amnesty International. She attended Magdalen College at Oxford in the fall of 2001, where she earned a degree in neuroscience and also rowed on her college's crew team. She spent last summer in Rwanda, where she helped an international program put computers in the schools of that African nation. "At MIT we have mostly scientists and engineers. At Oxford I met tons of people with different career goals and backgrounds. It opened up my eyes to a lot of things I hadn't considered before," she says. After completing her Ph.D., Brunskill plans to teach or work on issues of technology in international development.

Elizabeth Angell, '02Elizabeth Angell, '02
Oxford, England

The Bainbridge Island native was an early entry student at the UW who double majored in international studies and history. She now attends Merton College at Oxford, where she is studying modern history and plans to also earn a degree in modern Middle Eastern studies. She is particularly interested in modern Turkish history and the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the modern Turkish state. "I miss the Jackson School," she says, "I was working in an interdisciplinary and inter-regional framework. It was a really interesting environment to be in." She says the best part of the Rhodes Scholarship is "meeting the most amazing people. I've made many friends with other Rhodes Scholars from other countries." Eventually she plans to get a Ph.D. in international studies or history and teach.

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