Reno woman chosen as Rhodes Scholar | NevadaAppeal.com

Reno woman chosen as Rhodes Scholar

Associated Press

RENO — A Reno woman is among 32 American college students who have been selected as Rhodes Scholars.

Laura A. Shackelton, a 1999 McQueen High School graduate and Princeton University senior with a major in molecular biology, will study genetics and virology at Oxford University in England.

She was en route by plane from San Francisco to Newark, N.J., on Sunday and unavailable for comment.

The scholarship trust said Shackelton has done important research in neurovirology, the study of viral infections of the nervous system.

“I’m thrilled for her,” said her mother, Donna Shackelton. “I think virology was her edge. Knowledge about viruses is so important to the world now.”

Rhodes Scholarships, created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, provide two or three years of study at Oxford.

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Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor, among other attributes.

Shackelton has been a member of Princeton’s cross country and track teams. She writes for the student newspaper.

At McQueen, she was a state track champion in the two-mile race. She also was a national cross-country champion in the Junior Olympics.

She’s the first Rhodes Scholar from Nevada since Ryan M. Rowberry of Henderson in 1998. Rowberry was a Brigham Young University student at the time.

“We’re very proud of Laura,” said John Bowers, a spokesman for the Nevada selection committee. “It’s always an uphill battle for students from Nevada to make it since they compete against California students.”