Scholarships and Fellowships

Cory Rodgers (Africana Studies, History & Philosophy of Science, Biological Sciences)
Rhodes Winner, 2012

Cory J. Rodgers—who has been studying for a University of Pittsburgh Honors College and Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences BPhil degree in Africana studies and the history and philosophy of science and for a Dietrich School BS degree in biological sciences with a minor in chemistry—has been named a 2012 Rhodes Scholarship winner.

Rodgers is a first-generation university student from Somerset, Pa. In 2011, he was Pitt’s inaugural recipient of the 2011 Samuel Huntington Public Service Award. He is spending this year in Tanzania on a project that assists people living with HIV and AIDS. As a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, Rodgers will seek to incorporate anthropological, cross-cultural, and human rights frameworks into an interdisciplinary approach to designing participatory health programs. He will pursue the MSc in medical anthropology during his first year and the MSc in migration studies during his second year. His goal is to be a medical practitioner working among people affected by displacement, urbanization, and cultural pluralism.

Rodgers is in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, working on an urban agricultural project for people with HIV/AIDS in the low-income Manzese area. He and two HIV support groups are using innovative farming techniques, raising free-range chickens, and managing water resources to improve the groups' capacity to generate a sustainable source of food and income. The project utilizes participatory design techniques to involve group members at all stages of project research, planning, and implementation.

In 2010, Rodgers conducted a research project through Karagwe Development and Relief Services (KADERES) to identify the barriers created by HIV and AIDS, interviewing those affected, getting their perspectives, and capturing their experiences. KADERES plans to use Rodgers’ report in planning for its microfinancing programs, which provide loans to local peasants and small-holder farmers, funding for area clinics, and building projects.

Rodgers’ 2010 research experience in Tanzania included study in Swahili, cultural immersion, and service learning. In 2009, he also studied at the National University of Mongolia in Ulaabaatar, Mongolia, through a Pitt Honors College program.

As a Pitt undergraduate laboratory researcher in chemistry, Rodgers also took time to volunteer. Through the Pitt program “Keep It Real,” he tutored a Somali-Bantu refugee family; he also served as a hospice volunteer, assisting in daily patient care, and worked with Habitat for Humanity through Pitt’s Alternative Spring Break program. Rodgers also served in UPMC Patient Transport.

Among Rodgers’ many honors are a University Honors College Scholarship, a Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship, a Brackenridge Undergraduate Fellowship from Pitt’s Honors College, the Helen Pool Rush Award from Pitt’s Nationality Rooms Summer Study Abroad Scholarship Program, a Foundation for Asia Pacific Education Scholarship, the Sigma Phi Epsilon Balanced Man Scholarship Award, and election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa.