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Rhodes Scholar

November 27, 2006
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 Nov. 27, 2006

Sean Kearns
Media Relations Director
(323) 343-3050
Margie Yu
Public Affairs Specialist
(323) 343-3047



Cal State L.A. 
Office of Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050 
Fax: (323) 343-6405

For immediate release:
Wen takes Rhodes Scholarship
for return to Oxford

’01 Cal State L.A. alumna from Temple City
to study global health science

Leana Wen is Oxford-bound—again.

Recently selected as a Rhodes Scholar, Wen, a 2001 Cal State L.A. alumna and currently a medical-school student at Washington University in St. Louis, will begin two years of all-expenses-paid study at the University of Oxford in England next fall.

Six years ago, as a Cal State L.A. student supported by the National Institutes of Health, Wen spent a summer as a research assistant at Oxford’s Glycobiology Institute.

According to The Rhodes Trust’s announcement, Wen is among 32 U.S. students chosen from 896 nominees based on high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor. The Rhodes Scholarship is the world's oldest international fellowship.

Wen, a native of Shanghai, China, is the daughter of Ying Sandy Zhang and Xiaolu Wen of Temple City, Calif. She is a fourth-year student at the Washington University’s School of Medicine. She entered Cal State L.A. when she was 13 and earned a bachelor's degree summa cum laude in biochemistry at the age of 18. At Oxford, she will pursue a master's degree in global health science.

Wen took leave last year from medical school to serve a one-year term as national president of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) in Reston, Va., the largest independent national organization of physicians-in-training.

Wen recently served as a Global Health Fellow at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, where she researched trade policies and access to medicines. As a Department of Defense David L. Boren Fellow, she also studied in Kigali, Rwanda, conflict and HIV. The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services recently appointed her to serve on the Council on Graduate Medical Education, which advises Congress on physician workforce and medical education.

Wen entered Cal State L.A. through the Early Entrance Program for exceptionally gifted students. From 1996-98, she participated as a research trainee in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Biomedical Professional Development Program. In her junior year, she was selected as one of the University's first four Beckman Research Scholars, part of a prestigious national program funded by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

She also initiated and coordinated two annual blood and bone marrow drives at Cal State L.A., and she received the University's 2000 Eagle Pride Award for community service.

Upon graduation, Wen selected Washington University after receiving eight offers of full scholarships from prestigious doctoral and medical institutions.

For additional information:

“Washington University student and recent alumnus named Rhodes Scholars” (Washington University 2006 news release)

Cal State L.A. 2001 Commencement news release (see “National Graduate Fellowship Recipient-Leana Wen” under STUDENTS heading)

“St. Louis' Washington University Boasts Two Rhodes Scholars”

“Varied Backgrounds Lead to Rhodes Honors”
Nov. 20, 2006, Associated Press report in Washington Post (with Wen mentioned in the lead paragraph)

"5 students with ties to state are named Rhodes scholars"
Nov. 21, 2006, Los Angeles Times,1,1392374.story

The Rhodes Scholarships web site

Journalists seeking to interview Wen or obtain a photograph may contact either of the following at Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles at 323-343-3050:
Margie Yu, [email protected]
Sean Kearns, [email protected]

Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 190,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, to be housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center now under construction.


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