Oxford Bound

January 31, 2009
Off and running: Duke's newest Rhodes, pictured in

Off and running: Duke's newest Rhodes, pictured in Vietnam. Peter Lemieux

Julia Parker Goyer '07 became Duke's forty-second Rhodes Scholar when she was chosen from among 796 applicants from across the country. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Goyer will study comparative and international education at the University of Oxford in England.

As an undergraduate, Goyer helped start Coach for College, a program that sends college athletes to rural communities in developing countries to work with school-aged children.  In 2008, Coach for College sent twenty varsity athletes—ten each from Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—to Vietnam to conduct sports clinics and teach academics to Vietnamese students. (The program was featured in the September-October issue of Duke Magazine.)

A Robertson Scholar and varsity tennis player at Duke, Goyer says she plans to use her time at Oxford to expand the Coach for College initiative to include student-athletes from other American universities and programs in other foreign countries. She recently received a $175,000 grant from the U.S. State Department and renewed support from the two universities to continue the program in Vietnam in 2009. Coach for College is now administered by the Duke Center for Civic Engagement.

Goyer majored in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience and is enrolled in the doctoral program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she is exploring ways to use neuroscience to enhance educational practices. She will take a leave of absence to pursue a master's degree at Oxford.