In November 2014, Sarah Bufkin ’13 made history as she became the first female Mitchell Scholar in the country to also be named as a Rhodes Scholar. Sarah was able to pursue her love of writing and her coursework as a cultural studies and history major before becoming Carolina’s third Mitchell Scholar and 49th Rhodes Scholar.
Sarah received a competitive William W. and Ida W. Taylor Research Fellowship of $4,000 to study the intersection of public engagement, political unrest, and poetry in Northern Ireland during the 1970s. After taking a course with Pulitzer Prize-winner Taylor Branch ‘68, Sarah conducted comparative research on the death penalty in the UK and North Carolina. She earned the opportunity to choose between finalist interviews for both the Rhodes and Mitchell Scholarships in fall 2013. Before she began her master’s degree in moral, legal, and political philosophy in fall 2014 at Queens University, Belfast in Northern Ireland on her prestigious Mitchell Scholarship, she served as communications coordinator for the North Carolina NAACP.
Sarah will begin her D.Phil. in politics at the University of Oxford in fall 2015 as a Rhodes Scholar and plans to ultimately practice civil rights law. “Applying for the Rhodes is an arduous, but rewarding process because it makes you sit down and reflect on who you are, what motivates you, and how you want to have an impact on the world,” says Sarah. “Fortunately, I always had a support network who was able to have those substantive conversations with me and to ask me the deep questions about why I pursued the scholarship I did.”
Read more about Sarah here.