W&L to Host Reception Honoring Rhodes Scholar Rossella Gabriele The Rhodes Scholarship, which averages $70,000 per year and up to as much as $250,000, fully funds two to four years of study at the University of Oxford in England.
Washington and Lee will host a reception in honor of Rossella Gabriele, the university’s 17th Rhodes Scholar, on Monday, March 9, from 3 – 4 p.m. in the Elrod Commons Living Room. All members of the university community are invited to attend.
Gabriele, 22, of St. Louis, Missouri, was one of 32 scholars chosen this year for the award. The scholarship, which averages $70,000 per year and up to as much as $250,000, fully funds two to four years of study at the University of Oxford in England.
Gabriele, who was a Johnson Scholar at Washington and Lee and is proficient in Italian, plans to pursue master’s degrees in both social data science and global governance and diplomacy at Oxford. After completing her studies in the U.K., her goal is to become a leading force in the development of forward-thinking space and technology laws and policies that maximize diverse and democratic access to opportunities in these fields. Her path, she says, whether through international organizations such as the U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs’ Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, or within governmental agencies, will rely on an ability to expand the intersection of law, data science and real-world empathy building through public policy.
At W&L, Gabriele was devoted to finding equilibrium at the intersection of physics and global politics. During her junior year, she worked with her advisor, W&L Professor of Physics Irina Mazilu, to conduct independent research leading to a proof-of-concept model for predicting U.S. Senate votes using a partisan ranking tool combined with the Ising Model for ferromagnetism from physics.
After graduating from W&L, Gabriele worked with the U.S. Department of State TechGirls program as a cultural ambassador. She also was a STEM mentor for girls from Middle Eastern, North African and Central Asian nations who are interested in science, empowering them to return to their nations as change-makers in their chosen fields.
The Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, a British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. They are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, personal energy, ambition for impact, ability to work with others, a commitment to making a strong difference for good in the world, concern for the welfare of others, consciousness of inequities and potential for leadership.