Four of Five Yale 2023 Rhodes Scholars Hold Dwight Hall Affiliations

Photo courtesy of Yale News.

On November 14, 2022, the 2023 cohort of Rhodes Scholars was announced. Five Yalies were awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to fund graduate studies at the University of Oxford in England, the most Yale students to receive the award in a decade. Of the five, Sophie M. Huttner ’23, Henry Large ’23, James A. (JT) Mullins ’23, and Veer Sangha ’23 hold Dwight Hall affiliations. Below, they reflect on their Dwight Hall experience and how it inspires the work they will continue with their Rhodes scholarships. 

Sophie Huttner ’23

“Dwight Hall has been absolutely central to my experience at Yale. It was through my work on the Yale Interpretation Network (YIN), one of Yale’s largest undergraduate service groups, that I discovered the importance of improving language access. I heard from many asylum seekers and refugees in our community about the challenges they face in our immigration system. This experience led me to study how we could reform our refugee and asylum policy to better protect those who need protection but do not always fit the legal definition of a refugee, including those escaping gender violence and climate change. I now hope to further explore this topic at Oxford.

In addition to YIN, I have worked as an English teacher for new immigrants with Bridges ESL, and I spent last summer teaching ethics to middle school students with Dwight Hall’s Ulysses S. Grant Foundation academic enrichment program. All of these experiences shaped me, and I am certain that without the opportunities I found through Dwight Hall, I would not be where I am today.”

Henry Large ’23

“I first became involved with Dwight Hall serving on the board of the Yale Interpretation Network (YIN) in the fall of 2019. YIN offers translation and interpretation services to make social services more accessible to New Haven’s non-English speaking population. I served as YIN’s Recruitment and Membership Coordinator from 2019 to 2021, and since then have been a volunteer Spanish translator and interpreter. Dwight Hall has given much administrative and financial support to YIN.

I also was a Dwight Hall Summer Fellow in 2020 when working as a translator for the Immigration Assistance Project of Mid Shore Pro Bono, a legal aid organization in Maryland.

My Hall experiences made me realize that my Spanish speaking abilities enable me to help people in need and serve causes I believe in. I admire the work Dwight Hall does to advance community service and social justice, which aligns with the mission of the Rhodes Scholarship. I also spoke a lot about my experiences with YIN and at Mid Shore Pro Bono as a Summer Fellow in my Rhodes essays and interviews. 

I will complete a two-year M.Phil. degree in Latin American Studies with the scholarship. Much of my work with YIN and as a Summer Fellow had to do with supporting Central American migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., and I plan to write my master’s dissertation about U.S. intervention in Central America and its connection to current migration crises.”

James A. (JT) Mullins ’23

“I was the Coordinator of the Dwight Hall Jones-Zimmerman Academic Mentoring Program (J-Z AMP) from August 2020 to August 2022. Working with my students and mentees during the pandemic was a really formative experience for me — it emphasized the value of flexibility and the importance of being generous with your time. This directly translated into my application to Rhodes, because I ended up doing a lot of research about where and how I could give my time while I studied at Oxford. Especially at wealthy and elite institutions like Yale and Oxford, I believe that students have a responsibility to engage in direct service, so I looked into mentorship and legal aid programs that I hope to participate in over the next two years. Finally, J-Z AMP provides an environment where students are actively supported, and it’s a testament to the importance of caring for each and every child, especially those who are struggling the most. I plan to study social policy, and my experience with J-Z AMP reaffirmed my commitment to centering and empowering our most marginalized communities.”

Veer Sangha ’23

“I have volunteered with HAPPY, the Hypertension Awareness and Prevention Program at Yale, for the last two years. As a volunteer at HAPPY, I screened patients for hypertension at New Haven’s soup kitchen and public library and connected patients who lacked medical care to the free local clinic.

Over the past year, I have been the Co-Director of Education for HAPPY. In this role, we expanded the scope of the biannual training we provide to our eighty volunteers to include information about diabetes, heart attacks, and heart failure. It prepared them to discuss hypertension in the context of other cardiovascular conditions. Inspired by my research in automated diagnoses from electrocardiograms (ECGs), we also trained members to use Kardia Mobile single lead ECGs to screen and educate patients about arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation.

I have learned to appreciate the fact that research cannot truly be translational without the efforts to educate patients and improve their access to care. My experience bridging my research endeavors and my role as a volunteer with HAPPY has provided a blueprint of sorts for what I want to do in the future on a broader and global scale. 

At Oxford, I plan to study how artificial intelligence can be applied to healthcare in order to improve global health outcomes.”

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