Rhodes, Marshall to two in College
Two College seniors have been awarded Rhodes and Marshall scholarships for study in England next year. The scholarships were announced in early December.
Ben Sharp, a biology major from Hot Springs, S.D., won a Rhodes Scholarship for study at Oxford University. Adam Mortara, a chemistry major from Milwaukee, Wis., won a Marshall Scholarship for study at Cambridge University.
Sharp was one of 32 U.S. students to win the Rhodes, and Mortara was one of 40 to win the Marshall.
Sharp and Mortara actually became friends during the application process for the Rhodes Scholarship. Mortara later withdrew his Rhodes application after he won the Marshall, since he wanted to go to Cambridge where his adviser, Jeremy Burdett, Professor and Chairman of Chemistry, received his B.A. and Ph.D.
At Cambridge, Mortara will work toward a second bachelor's degree, this time in physics. His goal is to return to the United States to earn a Ph.D. in chemical physics, an interdisciplinary field. He currently works as a research assistant for Burdett, with whom he has published numerous scientific articles. He is also a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, a nonhazing, academically oriented fraternity at Chicago, and is a member of Doc Films.
Sharp will study in Oxford's Environmental Change Unit, an interdisciplinary program that combines environmental law and economics with environmental science to focus on finding practical solutions to current environmental problems.
At Chicago, Sharp has worked in the laboratory of Bernard Strauss, Professor in Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology. Sharp also spent his first three years at Chicago as a member of the varsity wrestling team, earning a letter all three years for outstanding work; a knee injury kept him from participating this year.
During the last three summers, Sharp worked for the National Park Service as a firefighter. In the summer of 1994, he fought fires in Idaho, Montana and South Dakota, and, in one case, he was part of a crew that worked 36 hours straight to successfully save a small town trapped between two fires.