Students Hail From The Bronx; Westchester; North Bergen, N.J.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three Tri-State Area college students are among the 32 students who have won prestigious Rhodes scholarships this year.

The scholarships will take them to the University of Oxford in England for two years of special studies.

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One of the students, Paolo Poggioni Singer, is a Harvard University senior from the Bronx. He said he is interested in finding solutions to urban poverty — especially in the developing world. Last year, he worked as a White House intern.

Also representing Harvard from the Tri-State Area is senior Alexander Joel Diaz of North Bergen, N.J. He plans to focus his studies on comparative social policy.

“I didn’t know if it was real at first,” he said Sunday about learning that he had been chosen as Rhodes Scholar. “There were feelings of joy and tears of joy. I don’t cry too much, but this has been a dream of mine and it’s a blessing to just receive this tremendous award.”

Diaz has focused his so far on studies and research on the cognitive mechanisms that underlie unconscious race, ethnic and gender bias. He also worked with leading law enforcement authorities to use psychological research to achieve less biased trials.

The final winner from the Tri-State Area is Isabel Beshar, from Rye, Westchester County. Beshar is a senior at Yale University, where she is studying biology and the history of science and medicine. At Oxford, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in medical anthropology.

She has worked as a medical volunteer in Panama and Ecuador, and has published papers on diabetes research.

In all, 32 U.S. Rhodes Scholars were announced early Sunday. They are listed here by geographical region:

District 1:

Jessica Wamala, Milford, N.H., Villanova University

Alexander Joel Diaz, North Bergen, N.J., Harvard University

District 2:

Elizabeth Hockfield Byrne, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University

Katherine Elida Warren, Bainbridge Island, Wash., Harvard University

District 3:

Isabel Emma Eggleston Beshar, Rye, N.Y., Yale University

Paolo Poggioni Singer, Bronx, N.Y., Harvard University

District 4:

Evan Barrett Behrle, Oxford, Penn., University of Virginia

Alexander Gerard Wang, Doylestown, Penn., New York University, Abu Dhabi

District 5:

Timothy Michael McGinnis, Charlotte, N.C., Princeton University

Charles Samuel Tyson, Chapel Hill, N.C. University of Virginia

District 6:

Brian Westfall McGrail, Arlington, Va., Williams College

Emma Pierson, Arlington, Va., Stanford University

District 7:

James O’Connell, Tampa, Fla., Wake Forest University

Lindsay Evans Lee, Oak Ridge, Tenn., University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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District 8:

Melissa Loreice McCoy, Dallas, Texas, Georgia Institute of Technology

John Mikhael, Dallas, Texas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

District 9:

Adam Mastroianni, Monroeville, Ohio, Princeton University

Courtney Wittekind, Mason, Ohio, Carnegie Mellon University

District 10:

Vinay Nayak, Oak Brook, Ill., Yale University

Calla Glavin, Birmingham, Mich., United States Military Academy

District 11:

Drew Alan Birrenkott, McFarland, Wis., University of Wisconsin

Samuel Martin Greene, Spring Green, Wis., University of Chicago

District 12:

Donald Mayfield Brown, Vicksburg, Miss., Mississippi State University

Joshua Allen Aiken, Eugene, Ore., Washington University, St. Louis

District 13:

Meredith Lukens Wheeler, Fort Collins, Colo., Stanford University

Erin Alexandra Tanith Mauldin, Albuquerque, N.M., United States Military Academy

District 14:

Suzanna Marie Fritzberg, Lake Forest Park, Wash., Yale University

Andrew Scott Lea, Richland, Wash., Harvard University

District 15:

Miles William Unterreiner, Santa Barbara, Calif., Stanford University

Clarke Knight, Henderson, Nev., Smith College

District 16:

Aurora Catherine Griffin, Westlake Village, Calif., Harvard University

Zarko Perovic, San Diego, Calif., University of California, Berkeley

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