Halifax native David Matthews to study health and social policy at Oxford
McGill University student David Matthews has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. The world's oldest and most prestigious academic fellowship, the Rhodes is awarded annually to fewer than 100 students worldwide, only 11 of them in Canada.
Despite juggling a dizzying academic schedule while pursuing concurrent degrees in music and biology, Matthews has found time for an exhaustive array of extracurricular activities. He is the Past President of the Music Undergraduate Students' Association, has sat on the editorial board of McGill's Science Undergraduate Research Journal, and has played the violin with the McGill Symphony Orchestra. A residence don, he also volunteers at a senior citizens facility, plays intramural hockey and works collaboratively on chamber music projects. Meanwhile, Matthews has maintained a 3.93 GPA. Rhodes Scholarships are awarded based on the original criteria for intellect, character and physical ability outlined by Sir Cecil Rhodes in his will more than a century ago.
Matthews, who applied for the Rhodes after a summer internship in Senegal confirmed his longtime desire to "find a way of becoming an engaged citizen," will pursue graduate studies in global health and social policy at Oxford. "This is an incredibly exciting opportunity and a great honour," he said, adding modestly, "It's also nice to be 22 and to actually have an answer when people ask you what you'll be doing next year."
Matthews' academic strength and contribution to student life have also been recognized with the Students' Society of McGill University Award of Distinction and the Forces AVENIR Laureate in the Undergraduate Personality category.
Matthews is the 127th McGill student to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. He is finishing his fifth and final year at McGill and will be leaving for Oxford in October 2007.