Rachel Myrick, Political Science Major, Named Rhodes Scholar
The Department of Political Science has joined in the celebration of Rachel M. Myrick of Charlotte, a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in political science and global studies, who recently won a Rhodes Scholarship, the world’s oldest and best known award for graduate study. She was one of 32 Americans selected for the prestigious award, which funds study at the University of Oxford in England.
Myrick came to Carolina on a Morehead-Cain Scholarship, a full, four-year scholarship. An honors student, Myrick has been on the dean’s list every semester. As a junior, she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was one of seven students selected to participate in Carolina Students Taking Academic Responsibility through Teaching, in which she designed and taught her own seminar under the supervision of a seasoned faculty mentor. She is also a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honors society.
In addition to her outstanding academic achievements, Myrick is actively engaged in campus life, including currently serving as the student body vice president and chair of the student advisory committee to the Chancellor. She spent the last three summers working for a domestic violence shelter in Belize, an international development firm in Cambodia, and a strategic consulting firm in Washington, D.C.
Myrick will graduate from UNC in 2013 as both a Carolina Research Scholar, for her original research contributions, and a Carolina Public Service Scholar, for her exemplary public service within the community. As a Rhodes Scholar, she will pursue a master’s degree in international relations, studying the causes and consequences of ethnic conflict in world politics.
When asked to comment on her decision to major in political science and her time in the department she said, “When I came to Carolina, I wasn’t sure what to study. I first got interested in Political Science in an introductory class on International Relations and declared the major shortly afterward. Next year I’ll be pursuing an M.Phil. in International Relations at Oxford to study ethnic conflict and post-conflict political reconstruction, and now I realize how formative my classes in the Political Science department have been. I have so many professors to thank who both pushed me academically and were so supportive throughout this whole application process. Dr. Crescenzi, my thesis advisor, helped me recognize a desire to pursue a graduate degree in International Relations by allowing me to take his graduate course in IR theory, which really solidified my interest in the subject. I am so grateful to professors like Professor Crescenzi who devote extraordinary amounts of time and energy outside of the classroom to mentor students, help them with their research pursuits, recommend readings, and ultimately make a huge impact on their lives.”
"In my twelve years of teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I have rarely encountered students of Rachel’s intellectual caliber,” said political science Professor Mark Crescenzi, who is Myrick’s thesis advisor. “When you combine her intellect with her dedication to public service, the result is a remarkable student that represents the very best of what we strive for at UNC. Because Rachel is so humble, it took me a while to realize just how much service she has provided to the UNC community. If you look at her accomplishments you will see that Rachel has been entrusted with leadership positions in the management of some of our most precious resources on campus. At the same time, she has mastered every academic challenge, including Ph.D. level coursework and independent research."
The Rhodes provides all expenses for two to three years of study; its value averages $50,000 per year, depending on a scholar’s academic field. In the United States, 302 colleges and universities endorsed 838 candidates for the Rhodes this year. Of those, 212 from 88 institutions were invited for final interviews in 16 Rhodes districts across the country.
Myrick, along with fellow American students, will join an international group of scholars selected from around the world who will enter the lecture halls of Oxford in fall 2013.
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