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Two students from Massachusetts among the 2023 Rhodes scholars

Students from Connecticut and Maine also won scholarships

People walk around Oxford University's campus in Oxford, England on Sept. 3, 2017. Massachusetts students Tessa K. J. Haining and Isaac A. Robinson are among 32 students who are US winners of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for 2023.Caroline Spiezio/Associated Press

Two students from Massachusetts, Tessa K. J. Haining and Isaac A. Robinson, are among 32 winners in the United States of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for 2023, according to a statement by the Rhodes Trust’s Office of the American Secretary.

Both seniors at Harvard College, they will start graduate school at the University of Oxford in England in October 2023, the statement said.

Haining, from Newton, is majoring in chemistry and comparative literature, according to the statement. She is a varsity athlete on the heavyweight rowing team and a violinist and production manager for Harvard’s student-run orchestra. As co-director of the Harvard Eating Concerns Hotline and Outreach, she helped expand the program’s reach on campus and serves as a peer counselor.


At Oxford, Haining will pursue a master’s degree in history of science, medicine, and technology, the statement said.

Robinson, from Milton, is majoring in computer science and mathematics, according to the statement. He is a varsity heavyweight rower, and co-president of the Harvard College Democrats.

Robinson created and occupied the position of director of diversity, inclusion, and ethical technology at the group Technology for Social Good. He has also done research and interned at the National Institutes of Health, Jane Street Capital, Meta, and the BGI Group.

At Oxford, Robinson will pursue master’s degrees in advanced computer science and comparative social policy, he said in an interview Sunday.

“I’m interested in the ways that technology and democratic systems interface, how they can be used constructively to better each, and how we can prevent the harm caused to one another,” Robinson said.

“I’m really grateful to be here and thankful to my friends, family, and the community,” he said. “It’s taken a lot of support to get me this far. … I’m excited to see what the future brings.”


Robinson, 23, a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, said he celebrated with friends Saturday after learning he’d won the scholarship. On Sunday, he was back to work on a topology problem set with a Monday deadline.

“We celebrated a little bit, but we still have due dates,” he said.

Two other New Englanders, Margaret T. William, from Greenwich, Conn., and Alice N.C. Hauser, from Kennebunk, Maine, are also among the winners, according to the statement. At Oxford, Williams will pursue a master’s degree in economics for development, and Hauser will pursue a master’s degree in refugee and forced migration studies.

“They inspire us already with their accomplishments, but even more by their values-based leadership and selfless ambitions to improve their communities and the world,” said Elliot F. Gerson, American secretary of the Rhodes Trust, describing this year’s class in the statement.

Rhodes scholarships provide all expenses for two to three years of study at the University of Oxford, extending up to four years for students in certain departments, according to the statement. They support students who are committed to causing positive impact in the world.

“A Rhodes Scholar should show great promise of leadership,” said Gerson in the statement. “We seek outstanding young people of intellect, character, leadership and commitment to service.”

This year more than 2,500 students began the application process. Of those, 235 applicants from 73 different colleges and universities reached the final stage. In most of the competition’s 16 districts, committees interviewed 14 or more candidates, selecting two finalists from each district.


The 32 US finalists will become part of an international group of over 100 students from more than 60 countries, including some who have attended American colleges and universities but who are not US citizens and have applied through their home countries.

The first class of American Rhodes scholars entered Oxford in 1904, according to the statement. As of this year, 3,610 Americans have won Rhodes scholarships, representing 327 colleges and universities.

Women became eligible to apply in 1976, according to the statement. As of this year, 643 American women have won the scholarship.

The Rhodes Scholarship is worth approximately $75,000 per year, reaching up to approximately $250,000 depending on the student’s academic field and type of degree.

Globe correspondent Nick Stoico contributed to this report.

Isabela Rocha can be reached at isabela.rocha@globe.com.