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“Steering Committee on Undergraduate Women's Leadership”

Four Princetonians – Elizabeth Butterworth ’12, Miriam Rosenbaum ’12, Astrid Stuth ’12 and Mohit Agrawal ’11 – were among the 32 American Rhodes Scholarship winners announced today.

Agrawal, a math major and former co-president of Engineers Without Borders, is currently getting his master’s in economic policy evaluation at the National University of Ireland on a Mitchell Scholarship. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in financial economics.

oxfordButterworth, a classics major interested in arts education, will pursue a master’s in comparative and international education. While at Princeton she founded and directed a music program for children of low-income families, and she has worked on excavations in Greece and Italy.

Rosenbaum, a Woody Woo major with minors in African American studies, Judaic studies, and Near Eastern studies, is the president of SHARE Peer Advisors and the Religious Life Council. She is interested in bioethics and healthcare policy and plans to do a master’s in public health.

Stuth, an East Asian studies major who hopes to pursue a career in diplomacy, went to high school in Hong Kong and has represented the US in debate competitions in China in Chinese. She’s also president of the Tigressions and co-founder of a peace conference for U.S. and Iraqi teenagers. Stuth plans to pursue a master’s in international relations.

Check back this week for more on this year’s winners. But did you notice something unusual about the 2012 Rhodes contingent?

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When the Steering Committee on Undergraduate Women’s Leadership was founded by President Tilghman in December 2009, its stated goal was to address an increasingly evident and concerning fact: women at Princeton were, in some way, flying under the radar. The number of women involved in leadership roles and the number winning academic prizes took a nosedive beginning in 2000. Somehow, the experience of women at Princeton was fundamentally different than that of their male peers.

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(From left to right) Figure 1: Representation of Princeton Undergraduates in Highest Profile Leadership Positions on Campus, 1970-2010, by Sex and by Decade; Figure 2: Winners of Pyne Prizes, 1970-2009, by Sex and by Decade

President Tilghman charged the committee to address “the critical question of whether women undergraduates are realizing their academic potential and seeking opportunities for leadership at the same rate and in the same manner as their male colleagues.” After a year of work in focus groups, committees, surveys, and conversations, here’s what the committee of 9 faculty members, 6 undergrads, and 3 administrators came up with.

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