Isabella Sullivan ’20 named Rhodes Scholar

Nov 12 2023

Isabella Sullivan ’20 named Rhodes Scholar

Rhodes Scholarship Recipients Fahad Abdulrazzaq and Isabella Sulliva, USMA PAO, Taken by Michelle Kalish, Nov. 12

Keystone School is proud to announce that alum Isabella Sullivan ’20, was named a Rhodes Scholar this weekend.

The Rhodes Trust announced the names of the 32 Americans chosen as Rhodes Scholars on Saturday. Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford—ranked the #1 university in the world in some global rankings—and may allow funding in some instances for four years.
Sullivan is a senior at the United States Military Academy where she majors in International History with Honors. She serves as the Deputy Brigade Commander of the Corps of Cadets and is a two-time captain of the women’s volleyball team at West Point.

At Keystone, she excelled in academics and in volleyball, earning All-District honors all four years in high school, culminating in co-MVP for the district her senior year. Also at Keystone, she created a program that asks high school volunteers to play with Little School and Lower School students on the playground, read to them in the classroom, or create engaging activities for aftercare or during the day. This experience piqued her interest in how leaders impact their communities.

“We’re so proud of her,” said her father, Dell Sullivan. “We owe much of it to Keystone and the environment and community she was raised in since second grade.”

She continued to follow her passion for character-focused education at West Point, developing the Cultural Competency Thread as a freshman. This thread is an interdisciplinary academic program intended to foster cadets’ understanding of how cultures impact organizations and how cultural competency is a leadership asset. Her research in the history department also explores how leaders impact cultural division within their respective communities.

She volunteers at West Point’s writing center as a senior writing fellow, and she has interned at the U.S. Army War College and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Historical Research Office. She recently earned the Dean’s Pentathlete Award for her overall academic, military, and physical performance in the spring of 2023.
“We are so happy for Isabella and so proud of her. She was an outstanding student, athlete, and leader at Keystone,” said Keystone Head of School William Handmaker. “She’s continued her excellent work at the USMA as a student leader and volleyball player, and we look forward to seeing all she accomplishes as a Rhodes Scholar.”

As a Rhodes Scholar, Sullivan will study public policy and education to better understand how and where leaders can inject character and leadership development to bridge cultural divides within communities around the globe. She hopes to serve as a Medical Service Officer where she would continue to lead soldiers but also move her larger organization forward as the primary medical administrator for 500+ personnel.
Sullivan will enter Oxford in October 2024.

“This year’s Rhodes Scholars representing the United States–elected by 16 independent committees around the country meeting simultaneously–will go to Oxford University in England in October 2024 to pursue graduate degrees across the breadth of the social sciences, humanities, and biological and physical sciences,” said Ramona L. Doyle, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust. “They inspire us already with their accomplishments, but even more by their values-based leadership and selfless ambitions to improve their communities and the world.”

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