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Five military students named Rhodes Scholars

WASHINGTON – Five students with military ties were among the 32 Americans awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship last week, earning a year of studies at the University of Oxford in England.

The scholarship, whose alumni include world leaders such as former President Bill Clinton and current U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, is awarded based on academic achievement, personal character and “instincts to lead,” according to the committee’s criteria.

Here’s a look at the five military honorees:

** Christian H. Heller, United States Naval Academy
Heller majors in history and minors in Arabic. He has interned at the U.S. Army War College and at the Office of Naval Intelligence, attended the Marine Corps selection program at Quantico, and done submarine training.

** Kiley F. Hunkler, United States Military Academy
Hunkler majors in engineering psychology. She has the highest academic average in her department and is one of a small number of seniors endorsed to attend medical school directly out of West Point. She has interned at Walter Reed and worked at regional hospitals in Ghana.

** Joseph W. Riley, University of Virginia
Riley majors in Chinese and is in the honors program in government and foreign affairs. He is a both Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar. He has attended 101st Airborne Division Air Assault school and Army Airborne Infantry school, and founded an organization to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Fund.

** Evan R. Szablowski, United States Military Academy
Szablowski majors in mathematics. He has studied at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco and worked on projects encouraging entrepreneurship in Ethiopia, and on emerging markets in the Czech Republic.

** Katie D. Whitcombe, United States Naval Academy
Whitcombe majors in Chinese. She is tied for first in her class in academic order of merit, and is brigade character development officer. She co-founded Operation Wounded Warrior on her campus and volunteered last summer in the Philippines, working with girls victimized by human trafficking.

For more information on the program, visit the Rhodes Scholarship website.

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