YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For the first time in history, a Youngstown State University student has earned the prestigious international Rhodes Scholarship.
Ashley Orr is a senior majoring in Mathematics and Economics as a double major. She is from Columbiana.
YSU is only the fourth public university in Ohio to have a student win the award in the Rhodes’ 112-year history, joining Ohio State University, Miami University and the University of Cincinnati.
The $50,000 scholarship will send Ashley to the University Oxford in England to study for one year.
“As a first generation college student, I am so appreciative of the support I have received at YSU, specifically within the Honors and Scholars programs,” Orr said. “I am a direct product of my peers, mentors, and friends and family; so thank you.”
She added: “I hope my peers across YSU’s campus take advantage of the amazing opportunities that YSU offers all of us, and further, that they believe, as I do, that YSU students can and are changing the world for the better. I am confident that there will be more YSU Rhodes Scholars.”
The Rhodes Scholarship is “the oldest and best known award for international study, and arguably the most famous academic award available to American college graduates,” said Elliot F. Gerson, American secretary of the Rhodes Trust.
Orr graduated in 2012 from Columbiana High School in Columbiana, Ohio. She is in the University Scholars Program in the YSU Honors College and plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in May 2016.
She is president of the YSU Student Government Association, co-founder of a poverty awareness program in the city of Youngstown, and is active in a wide range of volunteer service in the community. She has studied at the London School of Economics, has worked at the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland, and done research projects focused on public housing, crime and on poverty.