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Behrle, Tyson awarded Rhodes Scholarship

Fourth-year College students will study urban poverty, British literature

Fourth-year College students Evan Behrle and Charlie Tyson accepted Rhodes Scholarships Saturday. Tyson, the executive editor of The Cavalier Daily, and Behrle, the chair of the Honor Committee, are the 49th and 50th Rhodes Scholarship winners from the University.

Thirty-two students from across the United States win the coveted scholarship annually to study at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Though multiple Rhodes Scholars were chosen this year from Harvard, Stanford and Yale, the University is just one of two public schools — along with the United States Military Academy — to notch two honorees.

Behrle, who is in the Politics Honors program, will study comparative social policy or politics while at Oxford, with a focus on urban poverty in post-industrial cities.

“I think it’s fundamentally unfair and unjust that in the metropolitan centers of the wealthiest nation on earth that we have entrenched … poverty that [has] persisted for generations,” Behrle said. “I think it can be solved if the will were there, but it is not.”

Tyson, who is currently majoring in political and social thought, will study Victorian literature and the History of Science, Medicine and Technology.

“I’m interested in studying British 19th-century scientific communities and the development of evolutionary theory,” Tyson said. “I’m interested in how ideas change over time and also over space, because different communities think in different ways. So by pairing a degree in literature with a degree in history of science, I hope to explore human expression and human creativity in two different modes.”

Tyson also received the Marshall Scholarship, a prestigious fellowship allowing students to study at one of a number of British universities, but he will decline the honor to accept the Rhodes. Tyson said the Rhodes offered an unparalleled experience.

“When you accept a Rhodes, you enter this really vibrant, really warm community,” Tyson said. “With the Rhodes, you’re all in the same place.”

Behrle and Tyson agreed the University’s system of student self-governance had positioned its students well to win the Rhodes Scholarship. In addition to serving as Honor Committee chair, Behrle is president of One in Four, a group of men seeking to educate other men about sexual assault.

“Someone like me, who has not done highly innovative research, is still considered qualified by a Rhodes selection committee because of the experiences I had and only could have had at the University of Virginia,” Behrle said.

Tyson also emphasized the key role of the University’s strong liberal arts curriculum.

“U.Va. has such a strong emphasis on the liberal arts and learning for its own sake,” Tyson said. “Learning to love learning [more than I previously did] is something that U.Va. did for me.”