Trans­gen­der Ge­or­gia Tech stu­dent named Rhodes Scholar

GA Voice - - Front Page -

Calvin Run­nels, a se­nior bio­chem­istry ma­jor from Ba­ton Rouge, Louisiana, is the sec­ond-ever openly trans­gen­der Amer­i­can Rhodes Scholar. The schol­ar­ship is con­sid­ered to be the most pres­ti­gious avail­able to Amer­i­can stu­dents, and cov­ers all ex­penses for two to three years of study at Ox­ford Univer­sity in Eng­land be­gin­ning next fall.

“I was ab­so­lutely floored when they called my name,” Run­nels told Ge­or­gia Voice. “I had been steel­ing my­self to con­grat­u­late two of my new friends from among the other 13 fi­nal­ists — all of whom, I think, would have been ex­cep­tion­ally de­serv­ing of the schol­ar­ship.”

Run­nels’ re­search looks to ad­vance crys­tal­lo­graphic tech­niques of pro­teins and also in­ves­ti­gates the ori­gin of ri­bo­somes, which are cel­lu­lar struc­tures that as­sist in build­ing pro­teins. His re­search may pro­vide in­sight into the ori­gins of life, ac­cord­ing to the Rhodes Trust.

While at Ge­or­gia Tech, Run­nels was rec­og­nized as the high­est-rated teach­ing as­sis­tant for his work in un­der­grad­u­ate math­e­mat­ics; or­ga­nized ral­lies on be­half of the im­mi­grant com­mu­nity and ef­forts to in­clude more gen­der-neu­tral bath­rooms on cam­pus; and was ap­pointed co-chair of Tech’s LGBT+ Ac­tion Com­mit­tee.

Run­nels is joined as a Rhodes Scholar by an­other Ge­or­gian, Chelsea Jack­son of Litho­nia. Jack­son stud­ies at Emory Univer­sity and is the first African-Amer­i­can wo­man from the in­sti­tu­tion to be a Rhodes Scholar.

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Trans­gen­der Ge­or­gia Tech stu­dent Calvin Run­nels was named a Rhodes Scholar, con­sid­ered the most pres­ti­gious schol­ar­ship avail­able to Amer­i­can stu­dents. (Photo cour­tesy Calvin Run­nels)

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