Selections of Tatyana Nieves Brown and Donovan Dixon mark the first time that two NYU Rhodes nominees have received the U.S. Rhodes Scholarship in the same cycle.

Donovan Dixon, left, a 2023 College of Arts and Science graduate, and Tatyana Nieves Brown, a 2022 NYU Abu Dhabi graduate, were among 2023 U.S. Rhodes Scholar selections for 2023. Dixon photo ©Hollenshead: Courtesy NYU Photo Bureau. Image by Tracey Friedman.

Two recent New York University alumni have been selected as U.S. Rhodes Scholars: Tatyana Nieves Brown, a 2022 NYU Abu Dhabi graduate, and Donovan Dixon, who graduated from NYU’s College of Arts and Science this spring.

Nieves Brown and Dixon are the eighth and ninth U.S. Rhodes Scholars from NYU and the first since 2016. Their selections mark the first time that two NYU Rhodes nominees have received the U.S. Rhodes Scholarship in the same cycle. 

Nieves Brown, currently a biennial assistant at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum as a Henry Luce Scholar, was a social research and public policy major with a concentration in Africana Studies at NYU Abu Dhabi.

A graduate of Dallas’ School for the Talented and Gifted, Nieves Brown co-founded AZIZA, a student-led community organization for Black women in Abu Dhabi, and helped build some of the first data pools, networks, and resources by and for local Black women.

She also directed programming at the Black Feminist Project, a New York-based civic organization, and was a cast member and co-writer of NYU Abu Dhabi’s “Reality Show”—a student orientation that depicts and addresses the complex experiences and feelings that college students may face as undergraduates.

As a recipient of a 2022 Truman Scholarship for Public Service, Nieves Brown served last year as a Department of Public Programs intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.


Tatyana Nieves Brown, a 2022 NYU Abu Dhabi graduate and a 2023 Rhodes Scholar selection.


Donovan Dixon, a 2023 College of Arts and Science graduate and a 2023 Rhodes Scholar selection. ©Hollenshead: Courtesy NYU Photo Bureau

Dixon, the student speaker at NYU’s 2023 All-University Commencement, worked as a special assistant at the White House this summer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in NYU’s Public Policy program, jointly offered by the College of Arts and Science and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

A graduate of Philadelphia’s Central High School, Dixon held several leadership positions at NYU. He was the director of service at the Goddard Hall residence, hosting fundraisers and service events, and was co-vice president of service on the Inter-Residence Hall Council, where he led social justice training at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Dixon was a co-peer mentor for NYU Project OutReach, working with a group of first-year students on civic engagement projects.

During his undergraduate career, Dixon received several awards, including a scholarship through the AnBryce Initiative—a four-year, full-tuition scholarship awarded to select, first-generation undergraduate college students.

Beyond campus during his four years at NYU, Dixon served as a policy and communications intern for New York City council member Robert Cornegy, a community aide for New York City council member Carlina Rivera, and an intern for the Bureau of Legislative Affairs and the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. Department of State and at the African American Mayors Association. These experiences were capped off by a fall 2022 internship at the White House with the Office of the First Lady.

Tatiana Houhou, a 2022 NYU Abu Dhabi graduate, was previously announced as a selection from the Rhodes Trust’s Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine region.

The Rhodes Trust is in the process of selecting scholars from its other regions.

Founded in 1831, NYU is one of the world’s foremost research universities and is a member of the selective Association of American Universities. NYU has degree-granting university campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai and has 12 other global academic sites, including London, Paris, Florence, Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, and Accra. Through its numerous schools and colleges, NYU is a leader in conducting research and providing education in the arts and sciences, engineering, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music and studio arts, public administration, social work, and professional studies, among other areas. For more, please visit


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