Two seniors named Rhodes Scholars

Laurence Deschamps-Laporte wants to help women in developing countries, like those she met in Uganda who needed clean water. Steven Paul Shorkey Jr. plans to help people struggling with mental illness.

Their altruistic aspirations, research, scholarship and international public service helped both UNC seniors win Rhodes Scholarships, the world’s oldest and best known for graduate study.

They will begin studying for master’s degrees at the University of Oxford in England next fall – Deschamps-Laporte in development studies and Shorkey in psychological research and neuroscience.

img_deschamps-laporte_laure img_shorkey_paul_200_250

Deschamps-Laporte Shorkey

Deschamps-Laporte, 22, majors in international studies with a concentration on the Middle East and a minor in Islamic studies, studying in the College of Arts and Sciences. A double major in business administration and psychology, Shorkey, 21, studies in Kenan-Flagler Business School and the college.

Both came to Carolina on Morehead-Cain Scholarships, full, four-year scholarships to UNC that also fund four summer enrichment experiences and additional educational opportunities. The summers are themed in outdoor leadership, public service, international research and private enterprise.

Now with 47 Rhodes winners since the scholarship program began in 1904, Carolina has produced 32 Rhodes Scholars since 1957, when the first Morehead Scholars graduated. Of those, 29 have been Morehead – now Morehead-Cain – Scholars.

With Rhodes districts reporting through Nov. 21, Carolina is tied for the most Rhodes Scholars produced by an American public research university. In the past five, 10 and 25 years, UNC has produced more Rhodes Scholars than any other U.S. public university. This is Carolina’s third year in a row with two scholars in one year.

Among all research universities, UNC ranks fifth in Rhodes production in the last five years, behind only Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Princeton. Among all U.S. universities over the past 10 years, Carolina is tied for sixth, with the U.S. Military Academy and Duke University.

Shorkey’s Morehead-Cain Scholarship has taken him to South Africa to help a group combating HIV/AIDS and Cambodia and India to help a global anti-poverty organization.

Deschamps-Laporte has been a UNC summer undergraduate research fellow, studied at the the Princeton Junior Summer Institute in public policy and international affairs and volunteered for the Foundation for Sustainable Development in Uganda.