Johns Hopkins University senior Nicole A. Mihelson is on her way to London next year as one of only 32 American students selected to receive Rhodes Scholarships.
Mihelson, a neuroscience major at JHU, will be researching treatments for a specific type of brain cancer while pursuing a doctorate of philosophy in oncology at Oxford University starting next fall. Rhodes scholars receive full funding for at least two years of study at the prestigious London university.
Mihelson came to Hopkins by way of her hometown of Fullerton, Calif. Since she arrived at JHU in 2013, she’s carved out a place for herself on campus as an undergraduate researcher. According to the JHU Hub, she convinced neurology professor John Laterra during her freshman year to let perform brain cancer research in his lab. Laterra told the Hub that her “profound abilities, dedication, and commitment to scientific discovery” led to her being listed as a co-author on two papers as an undergraduate.
Mihelson has also worked with public health scientist Sara Johnson, an associate professor in the School of Medicine. The student has had the chance to collaborate with others on Johnson’s team studying the biological links between poverty and stress and health disparities, a rare opportunity for an undergrad.
In addition to having her work published in peer-reviewed journals, Mihelson has received multiple research awards and scholarships. Outside of her scientific work, she has learned to speak French, Spanish, Russian and Hebrew and has volunteered in Baltimore elementary schools teaching students about healthy eating habits.
Mihelson told JHU Hub that getting to be a Rhodes scholar is “an incredible experience. I am so grateful to my mentors for getting me here. They have been central to my growth as a student and as an individual, and have given me an example of the person I hope to be.”
Mihelson is Hopkins’ third Rhodes scholar since 2012, joining Eleanor Gardner in 2012 and Peter Kalugin in 2014. Given the senior’s many accomplishments in just over three years as an undergrad, the odds are strong that she will be an enormous success in her field.
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