UCLA Students and Alumni Honored as Rhodes Scholars


Elizaveta Fouksman
Elizaveta Fouksman, 2010

Elizaveta Fouksman graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 2008. She majored in history and minored in global studies and Russian literature. After graduating, she worked with a grassroots education program with rural youth in India.

While still at UCLA, Elizaveta (Liz) conducted victim outreach to sex-workers and human trafficking victims in both the streets and courts of Los Angeles. She has done documentary filmmaking, trekked in the Himalayas, and done human rights research on child labor in India. At Oxford, she plans to do the M.Phil. in development studies.

Adapted from Rhodes Scholar biographical sketch. See also UCLA Today story.


Chris Joseph
Chris Joseph, 2009 (NCAA Athlete, Football)

Christopher Daniel Joseph attributes his passion for nature and the study of geography “to my upbringing in a small rural community on California’s Central Coast known as the Santa Ynez Valley.” At Oxford he hopes to focus on biodiversity, conservation, and management of the earth’s boreal forests. Chris played varsity football at UCLA for four years (for the last three years he was a starter at two different positions on the offensive line).

Chris served in various leadership positions, including team captain and a class representative to a team leadership council. He earned honors as a three-time member of the NCAA Academic All District Team and the Academic All America Team for his last two years. Since graduating summa cum laude from UCLA in 2008 in geography, Christopher has coached a junior college football team to a conference championship, served as a personal athletic trainer to local high school athletes, and participated in a research and reclamation project on the native flora of Oahu, Hawaii.

Adapted from Rhodes Scholar biographical sketch. See also UCLA Today story and UCLA Spotlight video.

Scott Hugo
Scott Hugo, 2009

Scott William Hugo graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in political science and history. A Regents Scholar, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. His undergraduate research focused on US-China relations, though he also spent a term at Oxford studying the politics of the Middle East. In 2008 Scott interned at the bipartisan Center for the Study of the Presidency in Washington, DC and drafted a white paper on nuclear proliferation and weapons of mass destruction. He also conducted research on Bush administration rhetoric and its impact on foreign opinion of the US.

Scott volunteered in the “Bruins for Obama” presidential campaign and led a UCLA project to mediate middle school racial violence. In addition to being a sophomore captain of the UCLA rugby team, Scott played for the Oxford Greyhounds in 2007.

Adapted from Rhodes Scholar biographical sketch. See also UCLA Today story.

Annette Salmeen with Olympic Medal
Annette Salmeen, 1997 (NCAA Athlete, Swimming)

Annette Salmeen is perhaps the most famous of UCLA's student-athlete Rhodes Scholars. A biochemistry major at UCLA, she was the 1996 Pac-10 swimming champion in the 100 and 200 butterfly. She also won the 1996 NCAA championship in the 200 butterfly, the first UCLA women's swimmer to win an individual title. The same year, she won an Olympic gold medal for the U.S. in Atlanta as a member of the 800 freestyle relay.

Her Rhodes Scholarship took her to further biochemistry studies at St. John's College, Oxford University. She returned to the U.S. to pursue post-doctoral research in molecular pharmacology at Stanford University Medical School

Salmeen was inducted into UCLA Athletics Hall Of Fame in 2006.

Spencer Eth
Spencer Eth, 1973

Spencer Eth was a medical student at UCLA when he was awarded his scholarship. He was keenly interested in mental health and how medicine can best treat those disadvantaged in society.

After Oxford University, Eth trained in psychiatry in New York City and in child psychiatry in Los Angeles. He worked as a child psychiatrist at LA County-USC Medical Center, then as a general psychiatrist at the West LA VA and UCLA. He went on to become a professor of psychiatry at St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan and NY Medical College.

St. Vincent's was the closest trauma center to "ground zero" on 9/11. Eth has spent his professional career treating and studying children, Vietnam veterans and others struggling with issues of trauma and grief, including 9/11 survivors.

George Rosa
George Rosa, 1971

George Rosa had strong ties to UCLA. His father was a professor of Spanish and Portuguese. He was a double major in English and French and graduated summa cum laude.

After Balliol College, Rosa went on to earn his D. Phil. from Oxford University. His dissertation title was "The Presence of Byron in the Novels of Stendhal, with Special Reference to Armance and Le Rouge et le Noir."

Rosa taught French and Italian at Tulane University before joining the faculty of Lafayette College in Pennsylvania in 1986.

Harold Griffin
Harold Griffin, 1969 (NCAA Athlete, Football)

Harold Griffin was a UCLA football player, as well as a political science major on the Dean's List. He lettered in 1967, 1968 and 1969.

Griffin was the hero of a 1967 game against third-ranked Penn State. Griffin blocked a punt, recovered the ball and scored. UCLA won the game 17-15.

William Zeltonaga
William Zeltonaga, 1962 (NCAA Athlete, Wrestling)

William Zeltonoga was an undergraduate major in philosophy and a star of the UCLA wrestling team. He later served in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and Joint Staff Commendation Medal for his service in the Army Armor Corps. He received his law degree from Harvard.

Zeltonoga provides business and legal counsel to businesses that include Gold's Gym and Golphology. A strong believer in community service, Mr. Zeltonoga is a volunteer at the Union Rescue Mission, and Vice Chair of the Board of Heart Touch™, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to the training and delivery of compassionate and healing touch to homebound or hospitalized, men, women and children.

Adapted from biographical information on the Heart Touch site.

David Maxwell
David Maxwell, 1955

David Maxwell was always a brilliant student. After earning an A.B. in biology from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, he came to UCLA to begin graduate studies in anatomy. However, he interrupted these studies when he won a Rhodes Scholarship, which took him to Oxford University, where he was awarded a bachelor's degree in physiology with First Class Honours. Maxwell often said that the Oxford years were among his happiest.

Following his graduation from Oxford, Maxwell returned to UCLA, received his Ph.D., and in 1960 joined the faculty of the Department of Anatomy. In 1974 he was promoted to the rank of professor of anatomy (a joint appointment with the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences) and professor of surgery/anatomy at the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate School of Medicine. A member of the UCLA Brain Research Institute from 1960, Maxwell was devoted to the University and served on numerous policy-making bodies. Maxwell was also recognized as an enormously gifted teacher and received many special teaching awards during his tenure at UCLA.

Maxwell was 60 when he died at his home of a heart attack on August 13, 1991.

Adapted from University of California: In Memoriam, 1993

Steven Muller
Steven Muller, 1948

Steven Muller was a political science graduate student at UCLA when he received word he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. He graduated from UCLA in 1948 and studied at Oxford University from 1949 to 1951.

After serving in the Army Signal Corps during 1954–1955, he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Haverford College and Assistant Professor of Government at Cornell University. In 1971 he became Provost at Johns Hopkins University.

Beginning in 1972 Muller served as the 10th President of Johns Hopkins University, with a dual appointment as president of the hospital. Upon his retirement in 1990, he was named president emeritus.

John Olmsted, 1925 (NCAA Athlete, Tennis)

During his two years at UCLA, Olmsted played for the tennis team. He then transferred to UC Berkeley, where he studied engineering before being selected as a Rhodes Scholar.

UCLA's Rhodes Scholars

The Rhodes Scholarships were established after the death of Cecil Rhodes, who dreamed of improving the world through the diffusion of leaders motivated to serve their contemporaries, trained in the contemplative life of the mind, and broadened by their acquaintance with one another and by their exposure to cultures different from their own. Mr. Rhodes hoped that his plan of bringing able students from throughout the English-speaking world and beyond to study at Oxford University would aid in the promotion of international understanding and peace. [Text from Rhodes Scholars site.]

Information about UCLA's Rhodes Scholars is based primarily on John B. Jackson's "occasional paper" for the UCLA Alumni Association, published in 1973-74, and the biographies on the Rhodes Scholars website.

We make every effort to keep these listings current and accurate. Please notify if you notice an error or discrepancy.

Selected Honors held by UCLA Alumni and Students