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November 25, 2008

Recent Stanford graduate awarded 2009 Rhodes Scholarship

Alumna Sarah B. Kleinman will head to Oxford University next fall as one of 32 Americans awarded a 2009 Rhodes Scholarship.

Kleinman, 23, said she will study for a master's degree in international relations at the eminent British university, where she will have the opportunity to conduct research with some of the leading experts on projects related to protracted refugee crises, peace-building strategies, global governance and ending international conflicts.

At Stanford, she earned a bachelor's degree in history, with a concentration in race and ethnicity, in 2007 and a master's degree in sociology, with a concentration in social movements, comparative politics and social change, in 2008.

"It's really important that I get a solid foundation in international theory and the history of the international system so I understand what policies have worked in the past, how the United Nations and other international organizations effectively intervened in post-conflict situations," she said Monday in a telephone interview from her hometown of Indianapolis. "Without understanding the lessons of the past, I won't be able to make effective change in the future."

Currently, she is the managing director of FACE AIDS, a Palo Alto-based group devoted to mobilizing students to fight AIDS in Africa.

Kleinman founded two social-justice groups at Stanford: Students Promoting Ethnic and Cultural Kinship (SPEACK) and the Stanford Human Rights Forum. For two years, she served as the co-editor and advocacy director at Six Degrees: A Stanford Journal of Human Rights, a bi-annual journal that provides an arena for students to create an awareness of human rights issues around the world based on their personal experiences and inspiration.

Kleinman also sang in Everyday People, an a cappella group at Stanford, for three years.

During the summer of 2006, Kleinman worked as a research associate at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., under a fellowship awarded by the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford. She produced a 175-page report for the museum describing how it could engage in educational outreach to students and teachers.

During her senior year at Stanford, she spent four months working as an HIV-AIDS volunteer educator in Tanzania for Support for International Change, a non-governmental organization.

After earning a bachelor's degree, Kleinman spent the summer working as a research intern at Partners in Health, a nonprofit group dedicated to raising the standard of health care for the poor around the world, including Haiti, Russia and Rwanda, through medical services, training, advocacy and research.

After earning a master's degree, Kleinman spent the summer of 2008 working as a case writer at Global Health Delivery, a project of Harvard University's schools of business, medicine and public health, and Partners in Health. She wrote a case for a pilot curriculum on global health delivery science that will be taught at Harvard's schools of medicine and public health. The case is based on research—analysis in Boston and data collection and interviews in Uganda—Kleinman conducted on an HIV support and treatment program known as the AIDS Support Organization, the largest indigenous, non-governmental organization providing HIV/AIDS services in Africa.

The Rhodes Scholarship, which covers two to three years of study at Oxford, was created in 1902 by the will of Cecil J. Rhodes, the British colonial pioneer and statesman who hoped to promote international peace and understanding by bringing together students from throughout the English-speaking world to study at his alma mater.



Kathleen J. Sullivan, News Service: (650) 724-5708,


John Pearson, Bechtel International Center: (650) 725-0889,

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