2014 Achieving Excellence

Rhodes Scholar credits campus life for shaping him

The 27th Rhodes Scholar from Washington University, Joshua Aiken earned a number of honors throughout the past four years. He served as a Humanity in Action American Fellow (2013), a U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission Summer Institute participant (2012) and a U.S. House of Representatives legislative intern (2012).

But, as Aiken acknowledged to the Rhodes selection committee, campus life also shaped his beliefs and passions.

Joshua Aiken talked with Student Life senior news editor and senior Michael Tabb about his interest in refugee issues and the advice he has received from past WUSTL Rhodes Scholars.

“I walked into that room and had the opportunity to show things that I had learned because of people like Dean (James) McLeod and the Civic Scholars Program and Ervin Scholars Program, and because of the LK (Liggett/Koenig Residential College) staff and communities that I’ve been lucky enough to be part of,” said Aiken, who majored in American culture studies and in political science, both in Arts & Sciences.

“I would feel remiss talking about myself and not the people and places who have made me who I am.”

An ardent advocate for both international human rights and domestic civil liberties, Aiken will study the lives of refugees and asylum seekers when he attends Oxford University this fall.

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