11/18/2004

Contact: Sue Lorenz, KU Honors Program, (785) 864-3374

KU senior from Partridge advances to final competition for Rhodes scholarship

LAWRENCE -- Ruth Anne French, Partridge senior majoring in political science at the University of Kansas, has advanced to the finalist round of competition for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships this weekend.

Winners will be announced Saturday evening, Nov. 20. Finalists will compete at the regional level in St. Paul, Minn., Nov. 19 and 20. Semifinalists competed at the state level in Kansas City, Mo., on Nov. 16 and 17.

French is the daughter of Jim and Lisa French, a fifth-generation farm family in central Kansas. She is a graduate of Haven High School and has attended Hutchinson Community College. French plans a career as an advocate for protecting natural resources. After her graduation in May 2005, French plans to study administrative and regulatory law with an emphasis on the environment.

At KU, French has worked as a research assistant with Donald Worster, Hall Family Foundation distinguished professor of history, to create a course on agriculture in world history. She worked with Sidney Shapiro, former KU law professor, to research her honors thesis examining the effects of the Data Quality Act on the regulatory processes of the Environmental Protection Agency.

She has worked as an intern for Chief Justice Deanell Reece Tacha of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She won third place in the 2004 Peterson Prize for Undergraduate Writing at Willamette University in Oregon. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha honor societies.

Rhodes scholarships provide more than $50,000 for two years of graduate study at Oxford University in Great Britain. Thirty-two Rhodes scholarships are awarded annually among eight regions of the United States.

KU students have won 24 Rhodes scholarships since 1904, more than all other Kansas colleges and universities combined. Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and colonist, established the Rhodes scholarships in 1902. U.S. students between ages 18 and 24 who have demonstrated high academic achievement and leadership are eligible to apply for a university nomination.

Rhodes Scholars from Kansas have included David Ontjes of Hutchinson in 1959, Munro Richardson of Kansas City, Mo., in 1994 and Robert M. Chamberlain of Topeka in 2003. National Rhode Scholars have included former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes of Maryland.

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