Cameron Clarke had mentally prepared himself: It was OK if he didn't win. Not being a Rhodes Scholar wouldn't change his dream of being a doctor who serves underserved communities. A certified EMT who has already authored six publications, Clarke was already well on his way.
And then he learned he was one of only 32 Rhodes Scholars chosen from the U.S. for 2017 -- out of more than 800 applicants.
"It was definitely not expected," Clarke said.
But it isn't surprising, either. Clarke, a senior at Howard from Richmond, Virginia, is double-majoring in community health education and biology. He plans to spend his scholarship at Oxford University in England doing primary research in health care.
"There's so few primary care physicians for each patient that it's overwhelming the system and people aren't able to get the care that they need," Clarke said.
Clarke is also co-president of Howard University's chapter of the Peer Health Exchange and serves as a news editor of the school's student newspaper, The Hilltop. And the busy guy is a Congressional intern with the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
He credits Howard with giving him the desire to give back. "Once you get to this school, they instill in you such a dedication to your community," he said.
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Students and faculty at Howard, meanwhile, are delighted that Clarke has brought the world-class recognition to their school.
"For Howard University, this means a lot," said Howard President Wayne Frederick. "It says to the world that our students are excellent, as we've been saying all along."