Rhodes Scholar named to 'USA Today' Academic Team
David A. Kovara from Flemington, N.J., a University of Delaware senior and a Rhodes Scholar, has been named to USA Today's 13th annual All-USA College Academic First Team.
Kovara, who will graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a master's degree in liberal studies, was recognized in a story in the Life section of the Wednesday, Feb. 27, editions of the national publication.
The newspaper honored 20 students for outstanding intellectual achievement and leadership. The students named to the first team each receive a $2,500 cash award.
"USA Today is proud to continue its commitment to honoring academic excellence and community service throughout the country," Karen Jurgensen, editor of the national publication, said.
USA Today noted that Kovara co-founded Children's Legal Action Network (CLAN), a network of attorneys to provide legal intervention for abused children in Kenya and Uganda.
The newspaper wrote: "While he was working as a nurse's assistant in Kenya in 1998, Kovara wondered why there were so many abused children and what could be done about it. Pedaling a rusty bike across Nairobi in search of answers, he discovered a child protection agency that agreed to work with him, and CLAN was born.
"Kovara mobilized 16 volunteer lawyers and created the proposals and the organizational structure to support the network, which has grown to seven paid staffers and 20 volunteers. Kovara has since started a CLAN chapter in Uganda."
Kovara said he was excited about the honor and pleased that the USA Today selection panel "recognized that volunteerism doesn't necessarily have to stay at home." Many awards, he said, consider only volunteer work undertaken in the United States.
Kovara also said he was impressed by the range of grade point averages among the All-USA recipients. "It's clear that academic energy can be spent in a number of different ways," he said.
The team of 20 was selected by a panel of judges from almost 600 students nominated by colleges in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Judges considered grades, leadership, activities and, most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.
Criteria for the All-USA College Academic Team were developed in consultation with USA Today's education cosponsors: the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
The All-USA teams are featured on the USA Today web site at [www.usatoday.com].