This success marks the first time since 1991 that USask has celebrated two recipients selected in the same year.
Biological sciences student Rachel Andres and nursing student Taron Topham were named Rhodes Scholars this week, joining a legacy of USask students awarded the honour since 1907. It is the second straight year that USask students have been named Rhodes Scholars, joining Cassidy Serhienko, who was one of last year’s 11 recipients in Canada.
They will head to the University of Oxford in fall of 2024 for fully funded post-graduate studies, joining more than a 100 new Rhodes Scholars from around the world. Since USask’s establishment in 1907, this year’s two recipients bring USask’s total number of Rhodes Scholars in university history up to 75.
“On behalf of the University of Saskatchewan, congratulations to Rachel and Taron on their remarkable achievements. These interdisciplinary scholars have excelled academically and as leaders in their communities. Their accomplishments are inspired and inspiring here in Saskatchewan, across Canada, and internationally," said Professor Airini, USask’s provost and vice-president academic.
“It is outstanding to have two Rhodes Scholars from USask this year. Rachel and Taron are making history; it’s the first time in more than three decades that USask has celebrated two new Rhodes Scholars at the same time. This global recognition shines a light on the world-class learning and research opportunities that are available at our university. This is what it looks like to be what the world needs—to be successful in top international student awards, such as the prestigious Rhodes scholarship.”
Andres, who grew up in rural Saskatchewan, hopes to continue her biological science studies at Oxford. She is currently in her final year of studies for her Bachelor of Science (honours) degree in biology. She also completed a Bachelor of Education at USask in 2023, and has worked as a teaching assistant in both the English and biology departments. A member of the university’s choral group, the Greystone Singers, Andres has also studied abroad in Costa Rica.
Meanwhile, Topham plans to complete a Master of Science in translational health sciences and in international health and tropical medicine at Oxford. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (with great distinction) as a Loran Scholar at USask, and is currently working as a registered nurse in Saskatoon. Topham previous served as a volunteer firefighter and completed work placements with the Saskatoon Foodbank, Prairie Harm Reduction Services, Grandview Medical Clinic and the Offord Centre for Child Studies.
The Rhodes Scholarship includes tuition, fees, and a stipend for living expenses while studying at the University of Oxford. Established in 1903, it is the oldest graduate scholarship offered in the world and one of the most prestigious.