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Lawrence student finalist for Rhodes scholarship

Friday, November 13, 2015

LAWRENCE — A senior from Lawrence has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes scholarship for study in the United Kingdom.

Alex Kong will join other finalists from the St. Louis region for interviews with a selection committee Friday, Nov. 20, and Saturday, Nov. 21. He is the son of Man and Sue Kong of Lawrence and is a graduate of Free State High School.

A committee coordinated by the University of Kansas Honors Program selected Kong to compete for a Rhodes scholarship, which provides expenses for one to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

“Alex is an outstanding selection as a finalist for this prestigious scholarship,” said Bryan Young, director of the University Honors Program. “We know he will represent us well. His dedication to the pursuit of knowledge serves as an inspiration for his fellow students and for faculty who have been fortunate enough to interact with him.”

Kong will complete his bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical studies this spring, and he plans to earn a doctor of pharmacy degree and a doctorate in pharmaceutical chemistry. At KU he has been active in the lab of Jeff Krise, associate professor of pharmaceutical chemistry. A member of the University Honors Program, an honors ambassador and a research ambassador, he received an honorable mention from the Goldwater Scholarship Program in 2013.

In summer 2015, he was selected for the Amgen Scholars Program. He plans to pursue a research career in pharmaceutical science, teach at the university level and increase scientific literacy.

Rhodes Foundation representatives select two winners from each of 16 districts in the United States after the interviews. Kong will compete with finalists from colleges and universities in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee.

KU students have earned 26 Rhodes scholarships, more than all other colleges in Kansas combined.


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98% of University Honors Program graduates are employed or accepted to graduate school within six months of graduation
40% of students in the University Honors Program conduct research before graduation
9 to 1: Average ratio of KU honors students to faculty advisors
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60% of University Honors Program students study abroad
KU honors students select their advisors from top-ranked KU faculty
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