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UGA’s 2021 Rhodes Scholar makes a difference in the Athens community

Alan Flurry

University of Georgia student Phaidra Buchanan joined recipients from 64 countries around the world this weekend as she was named a 2021 Rhodes Scholar, bringing the total number of UGA Rhodes Scholars to 25. Ms. Buchanan, an Honors student in the Mary Frances Early College of Education with a minor in German, works hard to make a difference in the Athens community:

As an undergraduate pre-service teacher, she investigated structural inequities in the American educational system and their historical roots, and how teachers, teacher educators and educational theorists have sought to combat them. She is currently working on two separate research projects—the first helps facilitate workshops designed to develop pre-service teachers’ cultural awareness, and the second involves investigating the history of slavery at UGA. In 2019, she completed an inquiry into the history and current state of school segregation in Fayette County, the school district where she completed her primary and secondary education.

Buchanan is a volunteer with U-Lead Athens, a tutor for the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement Tutoring Service and an assistant and panel moderator for the Morehouse College Annual Math Competitions Bootcamp. She was a student assistant in the history department, on the Meigs Professorship Selection Committee, on UGA’s First Look Academic Panel and in the LEAD Fellows Program. Through the Honors Team-Based Problem-Solving Course, she also worked with Envision Athens and its partner organization MOB Athens.

A UGA Presidential Scholar and recipient of the Melanie A. Burden Community Arts Award, Buchanan studied abroad in Ghana, Germany and England.

Congratulations to this amazing UGA student, whose contributions to her local community lend added gravitas even to the oldest, most celebrated international fellowship in the world. We salute her efforts and achievement in connecting global thinking to local actions today, when – and where – they are needed most.


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