Simone Askew, a cadet at West Point from Fairfax County has won a Rhodes Scholarship. She is First Captainof Cadets at the military academy. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) (Cliff Owen/AP)

Four college students with ties to the Washington area were announced Sunday as winners of Rhodes Scholarships, among the most celebrated and prestigious awards in the academic world.

Three of the four winners with local ties live in the Washington suburbs, two in Northern Virginia and one in Maryland. The fourth attends the Naval Academy in Annapolis, but lives in Massachusetts.

Simone M. Askew, of Fairfax, Mathew Chun of Arlington and Naomi T. Mburu of Ellicott City, were the three who are listed as residents of the Washington area. The Naval Academy winner is Nathan R. Bermel of Chestnut Hill, Mass.

A total of 32 students from around the United States were selected Saturday as American winners of the 2018 scholarships, according to the American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust. Winners are to begin study next year at Oxford University in England.

The scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years at Oxford. Winners are selected on the basis of academic performance as well as character, the Rhodes Trust said.

According to the trust, winners “should be In addition, a Rhodes Scholar should be committed to make a strong difference for good in the world, be concerned for the welfare of others, and be conscious of inequities. “

The Rhodes Foundation provided this information about the local winners.

Askew is a senior at West Point where she is brigade commander of the 4,400 members of the Corps of Cadets. She is the first African American woman to hold that post.

Chun is a senior at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a 5.0 out of 5.0 Grade Point Average, and heads a team designing the first prosthetic knee intended specifically for use in the developing world. He is captain of the wrestling team.

Mburu, a senior at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County, studies chemical engineering, is a Barry M. Goldwater scholar, and has written two peer reviewed journal articles. She has given 11 research presentations. One won for her the 2016 award for best oral presentation from the National Society of Black Engineers Regional Conference.

Bermel has the top academic rank and is second in the military rankings of his Annapolis class. He was a member of the national championship club lacrosse team.

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