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Northwestern Senior Named to USA Today's Academic First Team

February 19, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Alexander Hertel-Fernandez of West Lafayette, Ind., a senior in the Northwestern University Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, has been named to the USA Today All-USA College Academic First Team.

For its college academic First Team, USA Today honors 20 undergraduates who excel in scholarship and extend their intellectual abilities beyond the classroom to benefit society. Members have their photos and accomplishments published in the newspaper's Life section and receive a trophy and $2,500 cash reward.

A political science major with a minor in global health studies, Hertel-Fernandez spent nine months last year in Santiago, Chile as a researcher for the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization. His research was published with two co-authors in the article "The Chilean Infant Mortality Decline: Improvement for Whom? Socioeconomic and Geographic Inequalities in Infant Mortality" in the October 2007 Bulletin of the World Health Organization. He also presented his research at a Midwest Political Science Conference in Chicago.

Hertel-Fernandez was recipient of two Northwestern Undergraduate Summer Research Grants for research on health and poverty issues in Chile and Argentina and a Northwestern Study Abroad Research Program Grant for research in Chile. While in Chile, he volunteered at the Girl's Orphanage and the Public Polyclinic in Santiago.

In 2005, he received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Fellowship for research at Northwestern on the influenza virus. At Northwestern, Hertel-Fernandez co-founded the Latin American Initiative, the first annual Global Health Alliance and Students for International Development.

The USA Today All-USA College Academic Team is modeled after an all-star sports team. Judges try to build a team of students who are universally outstanding and excel in different ways. Recipients are announced each February.

The All-USA College Academic Team applicants are judged on the basis of grades, leadership, activities and an essay describing their most outstanding intellectual endeavor while in college.
Topics: Campus Life, People