Joelle Faulkner, a Hillel activist at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada, was recently selected as a Rhodes Scholar. Faulkner, 20, is only the eighth student from her university to receive the honor since 1970.
A chemical engineering and business major, Faulkner will enter the University of Oxford in England next October to study law. She has already made her mark in the business world as the owner and operator of Compost King, a horticultural supply firm, which she has run since she was 17. She serves as the Tzedek Hillel co-chair on the executive committee of Western Hillel and recently spearheaded a Gift of Life bone marrow drive on campus. The 216 new donors registered made it the second largest drive on a campus across North America.
"Joelle's commitment, creativity and passion are inspirational for everyone she touches. Her refreshing outlook and never-ending positive attitude make her an ideal model for campus leaders and one of the best volunteers with whom I have the honor of working," said Naomi Mazer, associate director of Western Hillel.
Faulkner is third Hillel activist to be named a Rhode Scholar in recent years. In November 2003, Daniel I. Helmer of West Point Military Academy and Elizabeth Kistin of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillel were among the 32 American students awarded the scholarship. Eleven Canadian students are selected each year, as well as students from Australia, Bangladesh, Bermuda, the nations of the Commonwealth Caribbean, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, Southern Africa (South Africa, plus Botswana, Lesoto, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest international study award for American students. It was established in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes. Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor. The scholarship will provide two or three years of study at the University of Oxford. This year's scholars were selected from 904 applicants.