CMC’s first female Rhodes Scholar joins Rose Parade float

Sarah Chen ’22

Nine Claremont McKenna students (and one recent alumna) are practicing their smiles and waves over winter break, getting ready to take their places on Claremont McKenna’s Rose Parade float as it glides down Colorado Boulevard on January 2, 2023.

These exemplary CMCers will ride the float and represent Claremont McKenna, which celebrates its 75th Anniversary and “bright future” in line with the parade’s theme, “Turning the Corner.”

Meet our only alumna float rider, Sarah Chen 22, from Anchorage, Alaska.

To join Claremont McKenna’s Rose Parade float, Sarah Chen ’22 will fly from England, where, as CMC’s first female Rhodes Scholar, she is studying for a master’s degree in Social Science of the Internet at the University of Oxford.

Chen was awarded her Rhodes Scholarship—the most competitive and prestigious scholarship in the world—as she completed her senior year at Claremont McKenna, dual-majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and international relations.

“Being at CMC provided me with the ability to pursue what I’m interested in, develop my research skills, and receive institutional support,” said Chen, who aspires to become a wargame designer and analyst. “I wouldn’t have discovered that interest if I hadn’t come to CMC.”

While the native of Anchorage, Alaska reports that her family is glad that she’ll have the “chance to experience the sun during California winter again,” Chen said she’s excited to see Claremont McKenna’s float in person as “the pictures look very cool. I’m honored to represent the school.”

Favorite Flower: “Cherry blossoms, because I love seeing when the trees bloom all at once.”

Claremont McKenna Activities: Chen served as president of the International Relations Society and co-led the Asian Pacific American Student Association. In addition, she was the founding development member of the Women in Wargaming network, a First-Year Guide, and a fellow with the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies and Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies.


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