Senior Michael Chen of Boulder, Colorado has been named a 2018 American Rhodes Scholars, along with two other Stanford seniors and one alumnus, according to an announcement made Nov. 18 by the Rhodes Trust.
The Rhodes Trust announced the names of 32 Americans as Rhodes Scholars, who the press release said reflect “the rich diversity of America.” The group includes 10 African-Americans, African and Asian immigrants; other Asian, Muslim and Latino Americans; an Alaska Native; a transgender man; and four scholars from colleges that have never before elected Rhodes Scholars in the 115 years of the scholarships.
Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England and may allow funding in some instances for four years. The scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, a British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. The new Rhodes Scholars will enter Oxford in October 2018. Rhodes Scholars are chosen based on their commitment to making a difference in the world, a concern for the welfare of others, a consciousness of inequities and leadership skills.
Chen is a chemistry major whose research spans both biology and chemistry. He has investigated the neuronal basis of motivation and zeolite membranes as a promising technology for more energy-efficient gas separations.
Chen is president of Stanford Synapse, a student group that supports patients with traumatic brain injuries and is a member of the Kayumanggi Filipino Dance Team. He hopes to pursue a career as a physician-scientist focusing on quality of life for traumatic brain injury patients.
At Oxford, he will pursue master’s degrees in Computer Science and Neuroscience.