THE SANTA CLARA
January 15, 2015
Santa Clara alumnus Aven Satre-Meloy ’13 was honored, alongside 31 of the best and the brightest students in America this past November, as a Rhodes Scholar.
He joins Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., who graduated in 1955, and Noelle Lopez, who graduated in 2009, who are the only other Santa Clara alumni to win a Rhodes Scholarship.
“It means a lot, it’s a really exciting opportunity,” said Satre-Meloy. “I think it’ll open a lot of doors and there will be a lot of really cool experiences. I’m very humbled to be part of this group.”
After earning degrees in political science and environmental studies at Santa Clara, Satre-Meloy plans to pursue a master’s degree from the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University.
Satre-Meloy’s selection complements an impactful career as a Bronco, during which he served as Chief Justice of Associated Student Government and studied abroad in Turkey through the Global Fellows Program.
He also participated in One in Four, a sexual assault prevention and education group on campus.
Satre-Meloy was also awarded a Hackworth Fellowship through the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, which he used to design Santa Clara’s undergraduate honor code, an ongoing project that seeks to ensure student integrity and academic accountability.
“(Satre-Meloy’s) extraordinary efforts have made (the implementation of an honor code) a real possibility in a way that it simply could not have been otherwise,” said Director of Campus Ethics Programs David DeCosse, who worked closely with Satre Meloy throughout his fellowship.
After graduating from Santa Clara, Satre-Meloy received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English to college students in Turkey.
He worked in the Office of Energy and Climate Change at the White House this past fall.
Satre-Meloy does not have a definitive plan for his future, but says his internship at the White House has inspired him to continue his work on climate change and the environment, a field to which he feels he can contribute most. In any case, he sees the Rhodes Scholarship as a jumping-off point to greater things in his life.
“There’s a sense of responsibility bestowed upon us,” he said. “I’m not just going to grad school for free. This is an opportunity to use that to try and tackle an issue that’s really important. I want to do something with this, I want to make it more than just a free ride.”
Satre-Meloy’s personal character has made an impression on many of the faculty he interacted with during his time at Santa Clara.
Department of Political Science Professor Dennis Gordon, one of his advisers, said that Satre-Meloy flew from Washington D.C. to Santa Clara to personally reconnect with the professors from whom he sought recommendations for the Rhodes Scholarship.
“He’s an unusual combination,” Gordon said. “He has academic skill, real world experience and leadership. You felt when you spoke with him that he was genuinely interested in what you’re saying.”
Senior Austin Smith, the current Chief Justice of Student Court, and Center for Sustainability Director Lindsey Kalkbrenner, who worked with Satre-Meloy, both said his character and dedication have led to his success.
“He’s a guy you wanted to work with and a guy you wanted to work for,” said Smith. “He’s just a grounded, nice individual. He accomplished more in his year on Associated Student Government than most people do in four.”
Contact Collin Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org .