Carmel Valley native named Rhodes Scholar


John Scotti, a 2007 graduate of The Bishop’s School in La Jolla and a former resident of Carmel Valley, is one of three students at the University of Chicago to be named a 2010 – 2011 Rhodes Scholar. Scotti will graduate this winter with a B.A. in chemistry, a B.S. in bio-chemistry and an M.S. in chemistry.

Scotti, who aspires to become a professor at a research university so he can pursue work to develop human therapeutic agents, says of his Rhodes scholarship, “Beginning next October, I will most likely begin a DPhil [doctor of philosophy] in organic chemistry at Oxford, which is a three-year program.”

The University of Chicago released the following statement: “Scotti, 21, a biochemistry major and jazz pianist, said synthetic chemistry bears similarities to jazz improvisation. Both pursuits allow him to experiment using a foundation of knowledge he has gained over many years. ‘Like jazz solos, the best syntheses are those that take universal chemical principles and apply them in a clever, unforeseen way to a specific molecule,’ he wrote in his application.”

The Rhodes Scholarship, named after Cecil Rhodes, is an international post-graduate award for study at the University of Oxford (in Oxford, England). Thirty-two American men and women have been named 2010 – 2011 Rhodes Scholars. The University of Chicago is one of only three institutions this year with as many as three Rhodes Scholars; the others are Harvard University and Stanford University. A total of 48 University of Chicago students have received Rhodes Scholarships since 1904.

Scotti is the son of Nadine and Louis Scotti and brother of Alina Scotti, Bishop’s Class of 2012.

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