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Grenfell grad named next Rhodes Scholar

By Pamela Gill

Gabrielle Hughes has been named the next Rhodes Scholar for Newfoundland and Labrador.

The 22-year-old Corner Brook student graduated from Grenfell Campus last year with a bachelor of fine arts (visual arts). The announcement was made by the Rhodes Scholarship Committee.

“I am deeply honoured to be the recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship,” she said. “It is an amazing opportunity; having the privilege of studying at Oxford is a dream come true. It will be a challenge, but it is one that I am very happy and excited to meet.”

The news came as no surprise to Dr. Holly Pike, vice-president, Grenfell Campus.

In spring 2010, Ms. Hughes was awarded the Arthur M. Sullivan Award, which goes to outstanding student of the year, as well as the University Medal for Academic Excellence in Visual Arts. Since her graduation in May, Ms. Hughes has continued to take courses through Grenfell to further her knowledge of art history, including a trip to Memorial’s Harlow campus to pursue British Art and Architecture in England.

“Gabrielle has balanced academics with numerous student involvements and contributions, winning several scholarships as well as finding time to get involved in many aspects of student life at Grenfell,” said Dr. Pike. “The time and energy she has dedicated to her studies as well as to her activities at Grenfell have made her the kind of well-rounded student who represents her university well. We’re so pleased to have a Memorial University alumna from the Grenfell Campus bear the title of Rhodes Scholar.”

Ms. Hughes’ extracurricular activities have included fundraising for the Harlow Campus travel fund and participating in Grenfell’s Student Leadership program, Grenfell Rotaract and Grenfell Oxfam. She is also a founding member of the Grenfell Aboriginal Society and has dedicated considerable time and energy to Aboriginal issues through her art and advocacy. She has been a youth representative of the Corner Brook Aboriginal Women’s Association since 2008.

According to the Rhodes Scholarship Committee, while at Oxford Ms. Hughes will complete a master’s degree in the history of art and visual culture in which she wishes to apply her passion for art history and North American heritage. As a member of the Mi’kmaq community and a First Nations rights activist, she holds a deep desire to bridge the gap between academia and Aboriginal communities to promote greater understanding and trust.