Charlotte Opal Becomes WFU’s Latest Rhodes Scholar

Charlotte Opal, a Wake Forest University senior, was named a Rhodes scholar Saturday.

Opal, 21, is one of 32 American students who won Rhodes scholarships for study at Oxford University next fall. She is the sixth Wake Forest student to be named a Rhodes scholar in the past 10 years.

“I’m thrilled even though it hasn’t really sunk in yet because I’m in the middle of exams,” said Opal, who is a native of Falls Church, Va.

While at Oxford, Opal plans to pursue a master’s degree in development studies building on her interest in Third World development. After completing her studies, she plans to work with developing countries to set up local banks and agricultural cooperatives.

At Wake Forest, Opal is majoring in economics and earning minors in math and international studies. She holds a Nancy Susan Reynolds scholarship, which covers the full cost of attending Wake Forest and provides funds for summer study. Last summer, Opal traveled to Mexico to study how the devaluation of the peso affected that nation’s poor after taking a monetary theory class from Michael S. Lawlor, an associate professor of economics at Wake Forest.

“Charlotte sparkles with interest and enthusiasm,” Lawlor said. “She turns any course in which she is interested into a Socratic seminar. She is passionate and imaginative in her approach to her chosen areas of study.”

Opal also sings in the gospel choir, plays viola and oboe in the orchestra and competes on the lacrosse team at Wake Forest.

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