Alexis Doyle ’17, a biological sciences and peace studies supplementary major has been selected to the United States Rhodes Scholar Class of 2017. She will commence her studies at Oxford University in October.
Passionate about the intersection of social justice, health, and well being, Doyle discovered peace studies after taking the “Introduction to Peace Studies” class with Ernesto Verdeja. As part of the peace studies program, she was also able to take cross-listed classes such as “Rethinking Crime and Justice: Explorations from the Inside Out,” a class located in a local prison where half of the class was made up of students and the other half of prison inmates. “We read the same readings every week, we talked about the criminal justice system and learned so much about the human experience and dynamics that cause certain groups to be more prone to incarceration than others.”
With plans to become a doctor to underserved populations, Doyle knew that adding a peace studies supplementary major would enhance her ability to think abstractly about issues beyond basic biology and allow her to better understand people in underserved areas. “As a biology major, it’s very focused and very scientific, but adding peace studies allows me to see the issues that I am passionate about through different lenses and expand my understanding of the concept of health beyond the biological component,” explained Doyle. She has also studied abroad in Mexico for a semester where she interned in a local hospital and spent time in Guatemala volunteering for the Primeros Pasos clinic developing a social enterprise soap-making project in partnership with the women of the Palajunoj Valley.
Doyle credits the diversity of classes through her peace studies degree that helped shape her path to becoming both a Rhodes Scholar and a future peacebuilder. “I was attracted to how interdisciplinary it all was at Kroc. Students can take so many classes from different people and all these classes involve so many different disciplines, but all approach social problems through peacebuilding,” said Doyle.
“The important thing about peace studies is that it is different from international relations, because peace studies stresses the importance of morality,” said Doyle. “Having that experience in my classes, I feel like I am much more engaged in moral dialogue and that is very important to me as a person.”
Following her Oxford studies, Doyle will attend the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she was accepted during her sophomore year at Notre Dame.
“I am thrilled that Alexis has won a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford. Her dedication to public health and community justice, as well as her impressive academic accomplishments, reflect the combination of scholarship and practice that is at the center of an undergraduate peace studies education,” said Ernesto Verdeja, director of undergraduate studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “This is a well-deserved recognition for a stellar student.”
Contact: Anna Van Overberghe, (574) 631-8535, email@example.com