Two cadets named 2019 Rhodes Scholars

Two Air Force Academy cadets are among the 32 U.S. recipients selected this weekend for prestigious Rhodes Scholarships. 

Cadet 1st Class Madison Tung from Santa Monica, California, and Cadet 1st Class James Brahm from Huntsville, Alabama, were chosen from among 880 applicants at 281 colleges and universities throughout the country. They are the 40th and 41st cadets in Academy history to receive Rhodes Scholarships, which provide for all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. 

Tung majors in mathematics and humanities and minors in Chinese. A 2018 Harry S. Truman Scholarship winner, she researches the use of artificial intelligence and other mathematical techniques to develop tools for decision makers. Ultimately, she believes in the power of artificial intelligence to improve people’s lives. She is a six-time All-American, is a national champion in women’s wrestling and holds a black belt in hapkido (a Korean martial art). At Oxford, Tung will pursue master’s degrees in computer science and global governance and diplomacy. 

Brahm majors in computer science and minors in Chinese as well as nuclear weapons and strategy. A 2018 Harry S. Truman Scholar, he conducts research at the intersection of cybersecurity and computer science and has a computer-science related patent pending with the U.S. Patent Office. He commands the Wing Information Services Team, which is responsible for ensuring IT support to over 4,000 cadets. Throughout his undergraduate career, he has worked extensively in cybersecurity, including as an intern at the National Security Agency where he engineered reusable software to support U.S. intelligence efforts. At Oxford, he will pursue a master’s degree in computer science.

Both Tung and Brahm also have the distinction of being Stamps Leadership Scholars. Created by the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation and the USAFA Endowment, the Stamps Leadership Scholars program offers opportunities for summer research, internships and cultural immersion experiences around the world to cadets with demonstrated leadership abilities and proven academic performance.

The Rhodes Scholarship, established in 1902 in the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, covers all costs for two or three years of study at Oxford. Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, and leadership potential, among other attributes. The 2019 Rhodes Scholar class will begin their classes at Oxford in October 2019.

See the complete list of this year's recipients is at the Rhodes Scholarship website

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