Director’s Fellows Awarded Rhodes, Marshall Scholarships

Two ISPS Director’s Fellows and graduating seniors, Jordan Konell and Rahul Singh, have earned the prestigious Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, respectively, and will be spending the next few years in British universities pursuing graduate work.

Jordan Konell, a political science and African American Studies major, has spent his years at Yale pursuing the intersection of race, class, policy implementation and political decision-making in cities. In New Haven, he is the former Director of Community Health Educators, the largest community organization on campus. This summer he interned in Philadelphia’s Public Interest Law Center, where he worked with a group of attorneys and advocates committed to issues of social justice. In addition, he is editor-in-chief of the Yale Undergraduate Law Review.

As an ISPS Director’s Fellow, he says, “I have been fortunate to have had some amazing instructors affiliated with ISPS—most notably  Andrew Papachristos, Vesla Weaver, and Christopher Wildeman—as well as a team of influential graduate students who have helped me to think about social policy in a more nuanced and critical way.”

The Rhodes scholarship is one of the oldest international fellowships and was created in 1902 by philanthropist Cecil Rhodes. It provides expenses for up to four years of study at University of Oxford in England. Next year at Oxford, Konell says, “I hope to use a comparative lens of understanding the interplay of ethnicity and social policy in different places around the globe.”

Rahul Singh is an economics and mathematics major at Yale who seeks to enrich social policy with quantitative insight. He also loves to teach and has founded financial literacy programs in his native city of Cleveland, and in New Haven. With support from ISPS this summer, he interned at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he researched the economics of higher education with Chief Economist Jordan Matsudaira.

The ISPS Fellowship, Singh says, “served as a bridge between my civic involvement as a college student and my desire for a career in U.S. economic policy. It was a unique opportunity to work closely with some of the top minds in economic policy, and a privilege to study the leadership in action of economists in American government.” This summer Singh also wrote a piece for ISPS Lux et Data on “The Perils of Bitcoin as Currency.”

Founded by a 1953 and named in honor of US Secretary of State George C Marshall, Marshall scholarships were set up to enable “intellectually distinguished young Americans, their country’s future leaders” to study in the United Kingdom. As a Marshall Scholar, Singh will pursue an MSc degree in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics at the London School of Economics, and also the MSc degree in Computational Statistics and Machine Learning at University College London.

The primary goal of the ISPS Director’s Fellows program is to provide a community of students with not only the necessary knowledge to contribute to academic discourse, but also with an enhanced ability to engage directly with policymakers and participate in public debates. To help provide contact between Fellows and policymakers, ISPS provides support for research and summer internships.