Rhodes Scholar Zohar Atkins ’10

Atkins ’10 named Rhodes Scholar

 Senior Zohar Atkins is one of only 32 U.S. students to receive the scholarships for advanced study at Oxford University.

By TAB staff  |  November 23, 2009  |  Email to a friend

Among the 32 American Rhodes Scholars who will begin studying at England’s Oxford University in the fall of 2010 is Zohar Atkins ’10 of Montclair, N.J. A dual concentrator in classics and Judaic studies who is also completing a master’s degree in history at Brown, Atkins plans to work toward a doctorate in theology at Oxford. Atkins, whose scholarly interests center around breaking down the traditional dichotomy between humanity and God, is writing his honors thesis on Heidegger and Rosenzweig.

Outside the classroom, Atkins co-leads a weekly poetry class for maximum-security inmates at the Adult Correctional Institute and is a violinist. An active religious leader on campus, Zohar leads prayer services at Hillel and served as a Shabbat Committee chair. He has received a number of awards at Brown, including an undergraduate fellowship at the Cogut Center for the Humanities and an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Assistantship (UTRA). He has published essays in the Brown Classics Journal, the Brown History JournalZiggurat, Brown’s journal of religion, and Machberet, the Brown/Rhode Island School of Design Jewish journal.

Earlier this year, Atkins won the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Prize in Ethics for his essay “The Duty of Cock-Eyed Angels.” He is a member of Word!, Brown’s spoken-word poetry group, as well as the student organization SPACE, Space in Prison for Artistic and Creative Expression. He mentors first-year students through the Meiklejohn peer advising program, worked last summer as a residential advisor to high school Summer at Brown students, and serves as a Presidential Host for President Ruth J. Simmons. 

This is the second consecutive year that a Brown student has won the prestigious award. Rakim Brooks ’09 received the scholarship last year and is currently pursuing his studies at Oxford.