Alex Bradford, a junior majoring in public policy, has been selected as a member of USA Today’s “2004 College Academic All-Starts First Team,” a group of exceptional undergraduates from around the country. “I was very surprised when I got the call from USA Today,” Bradford said. “I thought, ‘Are you sure you have the right person?’” Bradford has already won the George J. Mitchell Scholarship, which he will use to pursue an MBA in Dublin after he graduates this year. Many of his achievements involve AIDS and AIDS policy research, including working for AIDS non-governmental organizations and hospitals in Latin America and Africa, teaching the student-initiated course “Global AIDS: Political, Economic and Social Issues of the Pandemic” and writing the founding proposal for the AIDS Treatment Access Initiative, a nationwide campaign that organized last year’s “Student Global AIDS Walk.” He is currently writing an honors thesis on HIV/AIDS in Uganda and U.S. Foreign Policy. He also has a 4.0 grade-point average, is on the Stanford hockey team, wrote and published the book “Generation Y for the Global Village,” founded the Stanford Undergraduate Research Journal (SURJ) and is one of the Junior Class Presidents. Bradford was raised by a single mother in one of Minneappolis’ poorest neighborhoods and has worked dozens of jobs growing up, including a delivering newspapers. When asked what spurred his interest in AIDS, he said, “One of my best friends, an immigrant from Africa, died of AIDS. That’s how I became entrenched in the fight against what is now the deadliest killer in Africa, and soon to be in Asia.” Bradford recalled that during one of his trips to Africa, he was attacked by a group of young men who held an AK-47 to his head. “They screamed, ‘Where are you from?’” he said. “The kicked me so hard that I spit blood. They asked me what I was doing there, and I told them I was working with AIDS orphans. “One of them was an AIDS orphan. There was a silence, and he had the group give my wallet back. That was another time when I was reminded of the importance of global consciousness.”

source: Stanford Daily, 2/12/2004 - "Junior named 'Top 20' by USA Today" tags: Courage, Stanford