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November 22, 2015

Two Pennsylvania women selected for Rhodes Scholarship

UPenn senior and Philadelphian studying at Harvard will get to study at Oxford

Colleges Oxford
Oxford Contributed Art/Creative Commons

Recipients of the Rhodes Scholarship will get to study for free at the University of Oxford in England.

Two college seniors with Philly ties have been selected for one of the most prestigious scholarship programs in the world.

Jennifer Hebert, a Pittsburgh native studying biology at the University of Pennsylvania, and Rivka Hyland, a Philadelphian majoring in Islamic Studies at Harvard, were two of just 32 American students selected for a Rhodes Scholarship, which will allow them to study for free at Oxford University for up to four years.

Both are, unsurprisingly, incredibly gifted women who will make you feel vastly unaccomplished in life.

Hyland speaks eight modern and classical languages and is a leader in anti-sexual assault activism on her campus, She studies medieval Islamic and Christian philosophy in order to glean insights in modern intercultural understanding and plans to pursue a degree in scholastic theology at Oxford.

Hebert is a member of the U.S. national rowing team and an adaptive instructor for disabled rowers. She is conducting her thesis research on the effects of nicotine and stress on neural circuitry and plans to spend her time in England earning a graduate degree in psychiatry.

Out of 869 American students endorsed by their universities for the scholarship, only 32 won the final prize -- an acceptance rate of less than four percent. Out of around 90 scholars selected worldwide each year, around a third come from America.

Famous Rhodes Scholars include U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal and news anchor Rachel Maddow.