North Allegheny grad Dakota McCoy a Rhodes scholar

The Yale senior to study at Oxford

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A North Allegheny High School graduate and senior at Yale University is one of 32 American students named Sunday as Rhodes scholars. Dakota E. McCoy will be awarded a scholarship to study and conduct research in zoology and environmental policy at Oxford University.

Ms. McCoy is majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology and is a member of Yale's Bulldogs track and field team, competing in javelin and hurdle events. She volunteers for Special Olympics and sings alto with two Yale a capella groups.

According to the Rhodes Trust, Ms. McCoy, who goes by Cody, is a Goldwater scholar, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a winner of the Frances Gordon Brown prize for intellectual distinction, leadership and service.

She has several peer-reviewed publications and has done research projects in ecology, primate cognition and evolutionary biology.

Ms. McCoy graduated in 2009 from North Allegheny and attended Bradford Woods Elementary and Marshall Middle School.

"There is no way I could have achieved this without the incredible support of mentors, teachers and coaches over the years," Ms. McCoy said Sunday.

Rhodes scholars are given financial awards that cover all expenses for up to four years of study at Oxford University in England.

The winners were selected Saturday from 838 applicants endorsed by 302 colleges and universities. The scholars will enter Oxford in October 2013.

Rhodes scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes and have a value of about $50,000 per year.

Winners are selected for high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor, among other attributes, according to the Rhodes Trust.

About 80 scholars are chosen annually.

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