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WashU engineer named Rhodes finalist

Two Washington University in St. Louis graduates were finalists for a Rhodes Scholarship, one of the world’s most prestigious academic awards.

Damari Croswell, who graduated in 2015 with a degree in biology from Arts & Sciences, and Yidan Qin, who graduated in 2016 with a degree in biomedical engineering from the School of Engineering & Applied Science, both are committed to improving human health. Croswell, a second-year medical student at Harvard Medical School, wants to effect policy change to empower patients in poverty. Qin, a research assistant at Washington University School of Medicine, plans to tackle pressing health issues through biostatistics research.

Croswell applied as an American scholar. Rhodes Trust selected 32 American scholars from a field of 882 applicants on Nov. 19. Qin applied as a Chinese scholar. The Rhodes Trust launched Rhodes Scholarships for China in 2015.

Both students made an impact at Washington University. Croswell was a John B. Ervin Scholar, a residential advisor, an undergraduate teaching assistant in biology and chemistry and was selected to speak at the 2014 Convocation. Qin served as a teaching assistant, laboratory instructor and tutor for multiple subjects.