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Rhodes Scholars Chosen From 3 California Schools

December 12, 1989|JOHN KENDALL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Three young women from Pomona College, Stanford and USC are among 32 Americans chosen as Rhodes Scholars, entitling them to two years of study at Oxford University in England.

The list of successful candidates, named from among 102 finalists in nationwide competition and announced over the weekend by Rhodes official David Alexander, president of Pomona College, also includes two California residents studying at Eastern universities.

The winners included:

* Martina Vandenberg, a 21-year-old senior who majors in international relations at Pomona College in Claremont.

The Gilroy, Calif., resident is president of the student body and participates in social causes, including Students for Nuclear Responsibility. She spent the summer of 1988 in Leningrad studying the Russian language.

"I think the best way to describe my reaction is absolutely stunned, she said. "I can't wait to meet the other 31 people."

She plans to undertake Soviet studies at Oxford.

* S. Kim Grose, 21, a Stanford University senior, who is studying cultural anthropology and is the skipper of Stanford's varsity sailing team.

Born in Washington, D.C., and reared in New York City, she plans to return to California after completing her Oxford studies in human sciences. She hopes to undertake grass-roots community service, such as working with Central American refugees.

Being chosen as a Rhodes Scholar seems "like a dream," Grose said. "I'm just in shock. . . . It just hasn't become real to me."

* Tara M. Silvestri, 22, a Latin and Greek major at USC, where she is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board, the national leadership and service honorary society.

Silvestri, a senior with a 4.0 grade average, has been recognized at USC for her volunteer activities in working with the handicapped.

A native of Las Vegas, Silvestri said she is "very excited" about prospects of studying the classics at Oxford. After her return home, she expects to study for her doctorate and then teach at the university level. She is the seventh USC student to be named a Rhodes Scholar.

* Amy Deanne Matthews, a senior English major at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. Matthews, an Escondido resident, has a perfect academic record, plays varsity basketball and rows for the varsity crew. She tutors Cambodian refugees.

Matthews already has studied at Somerville College of Oxford and rowed for the college's crew. She is the first Rhodes Scholar to be elected from Mt. Holyoke since women became eligible for the scholarship.

* Reza K. Gandjei, 23, who comes from Palo Alto and attends Harvard Medical School.

Gandjei, a 1987 graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in molecular and cellular biology, was born in Iran and immigrated to England with his parents, where he lived for 12 years before coming to the United States.

At Oxford, Gandjei said he plans to pursue a course in philosophy, politics and economics aimed at broadening his knowledge of medicine and health care policy and medical ethics.

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