Boston University’s Anastasia Piliavsky Named for 2005 Rhodes Scholarship

Contact: Kevin Carleton, 617/353-2240 |

(Boston) — Anastasia Piliavsky, a 2004 graduate of Boston University, has been named to receive a Rhodes Scholarship, joining 31 other American men and women chosen as Rhodes Scholars this year. Piliavsky will enter Oxford University in October to begin study toward a master’s degree in visual anthropology. As a 2005 Rhodes Scholar, Piliavsky will receive full tuition and fees during her tenure at Oxford as well as an annual stipend.

The 23-year-old Piliavsky earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences this past spring, graduating summa cum laude with a double major in religion and anthropology.

“We are very proud of Anastasia and happy for her success in this most competitive and prestigious of all student awards,” says Jeffrey J. Henderson, dean of Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Rhodes Scholarships are given not only for outstanding intellect but also for unusual strength of character and potential for leadership, and Anastasia certainly has all of these. Anastasia’s success reflects wonderfully on the quality of our university and the college both academically and in terms of the character of our students and their promise for success.”

At age 14, Piliavsky, who spoke virtually no English, arrived in the U.S. from Odessa, Ukraine. In the decade since that arrival, Piliavsky has had an outstanding academic career, winning numerous prizes and travel grants for her academic work as well as conducting anthropological field work in India and Mongolia. In addition, she shot and translated a documentary film on the indigenous Sahariya people of India.

“Anastasia is a real intellectual spitfire, the most energetic student I have encountered in a decade and a half of teaching,” says Steve Prothero, professor and chairman of BU’s Department of Religion. “We are delighted that Anastasia found an intellectual home at BU, and we were thrilled to have her in the Department of Religion family long before she became a Rhodes Scholar.”

Adds Thomas Barfield, professor and chairman of BU’s Department of Anthropology, “We were always impressed by both Anastasia’s wide range of interests and her ability to do such outstanding work in so many different areas. She was the department’s top graduate last year, winning all the awards we have for seniors.”

Piliavsky’s selection as a Rhodes Scholar is the second in as many years for Boston University students. Richard Malins, a senior majoring in chemistry and neuroscience at BU, was chosen as a 2004 Rhodes Scholar. Malins, a native of Pearl City, Hawaii, is now studying pharmacology at Oxford.

Boston University, the nation’s fourth largest independent university, has an enrollment of more than 29,000 in its 17 schools and colleges.

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