Dept Alumna Named Rhodes Scholar

Lia Petrose, 2017 Econ Alum and Rhodes Scholar


Lia Petrose, a University of Pittsburgh and Economics Department alumna, (BS 2017), recently won the prestigious, Rhodes Scholarship: one of the oldest and most competitve international study awards. As a winner, Petrose is awarded two to three years of study at Oxford University. The traits considered when reviewing applicants include high academic achievement, personal integrity and leadership potential. Petrose exhibited all three of these attributes and many more in being named one of thirty-two 2019 Rhodes Scholars, and the eighth ever Rhodes Scholar from the University of Pittsburgh.

Originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Petrose moved to the United States at the age of twelve and began studying at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2013. Prior to winning the Rhodes Scholarship, Petrose was awarded the Helen S. Faison Scholarship from Pitt, in addition to the Alec Stewart Student Achievement Award. Additionally, Petrose was a 2016 Harry S. Truman Scholarship winner. She is the twelfth Truman winner from Pitt, and was selected from 775 applicants coming from over 300 universities. The Truman Scholarship, allowed Petrose to study at Jesus College at the University of Cambridge in the fall of 2017.

During her time at Pitt, Petrose majored in economics, neuroscience, and internal and area studies. She split her summers between Washington and Malawi, where she did field work concerning health care policy. In 2017, Petrose worked as a data analyst for the Harvard Laboratory for Systems Medicine. Currently, she is working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an assistant in a lab focusing on pharmaceutical research development and innovation.

Petrose is planning on spending the next two to three years earning her second bachelor of science at Oxford, studying philosophy and computer science. Her post graduate career goals include creating sustainable health care programs in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa. She plans on attending a medical degree program which will focus on health care policy, scholarly research and clinical practice.