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First at School in 26 Years : Occidental Senior to Be Rhodes Scholar

December 22, 1988|ESTHER SCHRADER | Times Staff Writer

For the first time in 26 years, a student at Occidental College in Eagle Rock has been named a recipient of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

Stephanie Malia Fullerton, a 21-year-old senior, will pursue graduate studies in human biology at Oxford College in Oxford, England, beginning in September, 1989. She is one of 32 men and women selected this year from 2 dozen American colleges and universities as Rhodes scholars.

Fullerton, a native of Hilo, Hawaii, is completing a degree in biochemistry, with a minor emphasis on religious studies, at Occidental. She has a cumulative grade point average of 3.84 out of a possible 4.0. She has also been involved in theater programs, the chorus and student government.

"I'm very interested in understanding the creatures that I hope to take care of someday as a doctor," Fullerton said in interview this week. "We've gotten away from looking at human beings in their social or cultural context. We're looking at specific parts of the body as diseased when we have to get back to treating the whole person to keep them healthy."

Fullerton said she is debating whether to pursue a career as a doctor or as a scientific researcher.

"I cannot see myself living out my life in a laboratory, that's just not going to happen," she said. "But what my career's going to look like 10 years from now, that's kind of hard to say."

The last Rhodes scholar named from Occidental was Richard Hallin in 1962. Hallin was a philosophy major at Occidental who received a master's degree in economics from Oxford. He is now director of admissions at Eckart College in Florida.

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