Sofia Berrospi Fernández Nominated for Global Rhodes Scholarship

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has nominated six current seniors and a recent graduate for prestigious fellowships for study in the United Kingdom with the support of the university’s Office of Fellowships.  

Current seniors Melek Ben-Ayed, Anton Barybin, Jaleah Cullors, Joseph Hartung and Erin Sturd and recent graduate Laura Phillips have been endorsed for the Marshall Scholarship. Sofia Berrospi Fernández, along with Barybin, Ben-Ayed, Cullors, Hartung and Phillips, have been endorsed for the Rhodes Scholarship. 

Marshall scholarships provide funding for graduate study at any university in the United Kingdom. The Rhodes scholarship provides expenses for one to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.   

Regional panels review applications for both the Rhodes and Marshall scholarship programs. Finalists for the Rhodes and Marshall are invited to participate in interviews in November. Applicants for the Marshall scholarships must be U.S. citizens; the Rhodes scholarship has 20 constituencies around the world, including the United States and Canada, and a new Global Rhodes Scholarship program.   

The Office of Fellowships, a unit of Academic Success, coordinates KU's endorsement process and supports candidates through the application process. Students interested in applying for these awards in future years are encouraged to contact the office by email at Depending on other eligibility requirements, students may apply for these awards as graduating seniors or recent graduates. 

KU students have previously won nine Marshall scholarships and 27 Rhodes scholarships. 

Sofia Berrospi Fernández, of Lima, Peru, is the daughter of Ricardo Berrospi and Eleonor Fernández. A graduate of Colegio San Agustín, Berrospi Fernández is the first KU student to be nominated for the Global Rhodes Scholarship. Berrospi Fernández is majoring in economics and mathematics, with a minor in journalism. As an incoming international student, she was awarded the competitive International Excellence Award and admitted to the University Honors Program. She is a research assistant in the KU Trade War Lab for Assistant Professor Jack Zhang and in the Center for Environmental Policy for Professor Dietrich Earnhart, and she works as a student administrative assistant for the Institute for Policy & Social Research. She is president of the Economics Club, of which she previously served as treasurer, and is the student representative to the Undergraduate Committee for the Department of Economics. Off-campus, Berrospi Fernández had a summer research position with the China-focused think tank The Paulson Institute and was a remote tutoring volunteer during the pandemic.