Tenzin Seldon, a senior at Stanford University has been named a Rhodes scholar. The 22-year-old Tibetan student is one of the 32 Americans awarded with the Rhodes scholarship this year.
Tenzin has become the second Tibetan to receive the internationally prestigious award. Dr.Tashi Rabgey, a visiting scholar at the Elliott School of International Affairs of George Washington University and co-founder of Machik, won the Rhodes scholarship in 1992.
Tenzin will graduate next year with Bachelors in Arts in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University. She will pursue M.Sc. in refugee and forced migration studies and M.Sc. in modern Chinese studies at the Oxford University with the Rhodes scholarship.
Speaking to VOA Tibetan, Tenzin said Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and Burma's democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi are her biggest role models.
At Stanford, Tenzin has held diverse leadership roles and earlier this year, she was awarded with a nationally presitigious Truman scholarship.
Tenzin has served as a regional coordinator for Students for a Free Tibet, overseeing chapters in California, Hawaii and Nevada. During that time, she also served as a San Francisco Team Tibet executive during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, bringing global attention to issues of human rights in China.
Tenzin currently works as a fellow at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Tenzin organized a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and mainland Chinese students and scholars during his visit to the school last October.
At Stanford, she serves as chair of the ASSU Diversity, Tolerance and Equality Team, and has worked to improve the experience of first-generation, low-income students.
Before immigrating to the United States, Tenzin studied at the Scared Heart school in Dalhousie, India.
The scholarship established in 1902 provides full financial support for Rhodes Scholars to pursue a degree or degrees at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.