Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1997-1998 index

Distributed December 12, 1997
Contact: Kristen Lans

Brown student wins Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford

Brown University senior Kristi Abrams is one of 32 students nationwide to receive a Rhodes Scholarship for study in England. Abrams, of Edmonds, Wash., will begin studying at the University of Oxford next fall.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Sara Kristine (Kristi) Abrams, a Brown University senior studying philosophy and neuroscience, has been named recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship for study in England at the University Oxford. Abrams was one of 32 scholars chosen from a nationwide pool of 990 applicants. The scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, room and board, and includes a stipend for expenses.

Abrams, 23, will begin a two-year program in philosophy in October 1998. She is slated to complete Brown's combined bachelor of arts and bachelor of science program this spring, a year ahead of the typical five-year timeline for the A.B.-Sc.B. program.

The daughter of Richard and Jan Abrams of Edmonds, Wash., Abrams attended the Lakeside High School in Seattle. She spent a year at the University of Minnesota as a violin performance major with thoughts of becoming a professional musician before transferring to Brown. Her accomplishments at Brown include the introduction of a new course - The Philosophy of Biology - which will be taught for the first time next spring. She established the course by developing a syllabus and selecting reading assignments, a project she was able to do as part of Brown's Royce Fellowship Program.

Also at Brown, Abrams was named 1994-95 Rookie of the Year for the women's rugby team and has played intramural basketball throughout her student years. She also has played violin in the Brown Orchestra and Brown Chamber Orchestra.

Winning the scholarship was a birthday wish. "My mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and I said, `the Rhodes'," Abrams said. She received news of the Rhodes two days before her Dec. 9 birthday.

By studying philosophy at Oxford, Abrams hopes to answer the questions, "What is the nature of human experience" and "What is it to think?"

Brown students last won Rhodes scholarships in 1995, when Rinku Chandra and Eleanor Brown received the awards.

Rhodes scholarships were established in 1904 by the estate of Cecil Rhodes, a British philanthropist and colonialist. Recipients must show high academic achievement, integrity, leadership and athleticism.