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Date: December 03, 2012

UVic Student Awarded 2013 Rhodes Scholarship

Tara Paterson—University of Victoria student, devoted community volunteer, ardent activist and former students’ society chair—is heading to the University of Oxford next October as UVic’s newest Rhodes Scholar. Paterson, 23, is the 2013 Rhodes Scholar for BC.

The postgraduate awards, which cover all travel, living and study expenses at the British university, are each valued at more than $100,000.

“We are extremely proud of Tara Paterson. She possesses the qualities of a Rhodes scholar—outstanding academic achievement, leadership and commitment to service,” says UVic President David Turpin. “It is a pleasure to see Tara recognized and we wish her every success.”

Paterson will be graduating in June 2013 from UVic's Faculty of Humanities (honours, women’s studies) and Faculty of Social Sciences (major in political science). Her thesis research in this final year of undergraduate work is on social movements, maternal health-care funding and the recent G20 protest in Toronto. Paterson plans to pursue a master’s in philosophy in comparative social policy at Oxford, and to continue her unwavering commitment to advocacy and activism.

UVic Women’s Studies Chair Annalee Lepp says, “Besides being a sophisticated and astute thinker, what really stands out about Tara are the countless ways that she really lives her social justice politics and puts theory into practice—from mentoring students in our department and across campus, to contributing her outstanding leadership and coalition-building skills to various organizations and initiatives at UVic and in broader communities. In short, Tara is most deserving of this major accomplishment.” Lepp is co-supervisor, with UVic Associate Dean of Humanities Sikata Banerjee (women’s studies), for Paterson’s honours thesis.

In her Rhodes application, Paterson recounted being eight years old and witnessing a play about a Squaxin Aboriginal girl’s forcible removal from her home. She says: “While profoundly moved by it, I could not know then that this single story of abuse, resistance and friendship would impact the direction of the rest of my life.” Paterson will be attending the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women event at UVic today.

Up to 11 scholarships are awarded in Canada each year. Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner, US President Bill Clinton and UVic’s first Chancellor Joseph B. Clearihue are past Rhodes Scholars. Those cultivated at UVic over its 50-year history recently included five scholars in four years: Jorga Zabojova and JanaLee Cherneski (2004); Emily Poupart (2003); David Claus (2002); and Kate Ballem (2001).

The Rhodes is the world’s oldest international scholarship program. The awards—established in 1903 under the will of Cecil Rhodes and administered through the Rhodes Trust—support exceptional students around the world.

It is the Rhodes 110th anniversary in 2013.

Rhodes Scholarship (main webpage): http://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/
Rhodes Scholarship (Canadian site): http://www.canadianrhodes.org

Media contacts:

Tara Paterson by email at tarap@uvic.ca or on cell at 250-893-4158
Tara Sharpe (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6248 or tksharpe@uvic.ca

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UVic is celebrating its 50th anniversary from Sept. 2012 to June 2013. Visit www.uvic.ca/anniversary for more info.

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