Sue Lister | November 24, 2014
Alex Coccia, a 2014 University of Notre Dame graduate, has been selected to the American Rhodes Scholar Class of 2015.
A Columbus, Ohio native, Coccia was selected from a pool of 877 candidates who had been nominated by their colleges and universities. He is Notre Dame’s 15th Rhodes Scholar and first since 2002. This year’s 32 Rhodes Scholars will commence their studies at Oxford in October 2015.
“A scholar, student leader and athlete, Alex used his gifts and energy to exert a powerful and positive influence on many,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “On behalf of the entire Notre Dame family, I offer our congratulations on an honor that is well deserved.”
Coccia majored in Africana Studies and Peace Studies at Notre Dame. Currently a Truman-Albright Fellow in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., he served as student body president, running on a platform focused on promoting the passions and interests of all students, including those who feel marginalized. A member of the Glynn Family Honors Program, he worked to serve peers and improve the campus climate on a variety of issues, most notably to increase awareness for students who identify as LGBTQ minority students, students who are undocumented citizens and students impacted by sexual violence.
“Alex did what we hope all students will do as undergraduates at Notre Dame. He took his learning experience beyond the classroom and took full advantage of all the resources on campus to discern his path, cultivate his gifts, and serve as a transformational leader,” said Dr. Deb Rotman, Paul and Maureen Stefanick Faculty Director in the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement.