Ohio State is home to a Rhodes Scholar for a record third-straight year.
Biomedical science student Daniel Lesman was awarded the prestigious scholarship on Saturday. This is the first time that Ohio State has had a student earn a Rhodes in three consecutive years. The university has also had four Rhodes in the past six years and nine total.
Lesman says he was thrilled to earn the Rhodes Scholarship.
"It was really humbling hearing about all the other finalists, so it’s hard not to feel like I got lucky, I’m still processing it," he says. "In many ways I just want to keep doing what I’ve been doing, but I’m obviously really excited about what comes next."
Lesman, a native of Dublin, Ohio, has excelled in the classroom and the community during his time at Ohio State. He co-founded Pass the Class, a nonprofit organization that connects Ohio State students with homeless and at-risk students in central Ohio with a goal of providing mentorship and study assistance. As a biomedical student he’s conducted research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Huntington’s disease at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
His research prowess earned him the opportunity to participate in the Broad Institute, a partnership of Harvard and MIT that aims to improve human health by using genomics to advance our understanding of the biology and treatment of human disease. At Broad, he led a project that identified gene mutations and their functional outcomes in COVID-19.
“(Daniel’s) commitment to research and service beyond self reflects the values of our university community and we are thrilled to see Daniel receive this well-deserved honor,” says President Kristina M. Johnson.
Lesman has been active at Ohio State. A member of the Honors & Scholars program, he also participated in Buck-I-SERV and the Second-year Transformational Program. He is also a recipient of the Goldwater and Astronaut Scholarships.
"Ohio State is such a big place, there’s so many opportunities and so much to do it’s really hard to wrap your head around," Lesman says. "There’s a million different paths you could take here, but I’m really happy about the path I took, and the people I took it with."
As a Rhodes Scholar, Lesman plans to pursue Master of Science (MSc) degrees in evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation and physiology, anatomy and genetics. Lesman intends to dedicate his career as a physician-scientist to working with patients while continuing his research on genetic disorders, all while removing barriers to education.