Reed College student wins Rhodes Scholarship

Pema McLaughlin plans to pursue a master's degree in Buddhist Studies

Pema McLaughlin. (Reed College)
Pema McLaughlin. (Reed College)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A college graduate who grew up in a Tibetan Buddhist community in California plans to study the faith in more depth at Oxford University after he she won a Rhodes Scholarship from the venerable British institution.

Pema McLaughlin, 22, a graduate of Reed College in Portland, says she plans to pursue a two-year master’s degree in Buddhist Studies.

“I finished my degree in religious studies at Reed this past spring, and that gave me a realty broad base to consider the role of religion in modern society,” McLaughlin said. “My (college) thesis focused on Buddhism in America.”

At Oxford, she wants to student Sanskrit and the Tibetan language “to extend my study of religion across cultures back into the past,” McLaughlin said.

She grew up in a Tibetan Buddhist community in Junction City, California. Her mother was a longtime administrator there, McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin says she plans to study for a doctorate in religious studies once she completes her master’s degree at Oxford.