Wheaton College student named Rhodes Finalist for second year

 
Virginia Shaffer
Updated 11/10/2017 4:55 PM
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  • Ariana Schmidt, a 2016 Wheaton College graduate, has been named a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for the second consecutive year.

    Ariana Schmidt, a 2016 Wheaton College graduate, has been named a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for the second consecutive year. Courtesy of Ariana Schmidt

Ariana Schmidt, a native of Omaha, Neb., who graduated from Wheaton College in 2016, has been named a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for the second consecutive year.

On November 18, she will travel to Salt Lake City to interview with 8 other finalists to compete for one of 32 fellowships awarded in the United States.

The scholarship provides for two to three years of study at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

"Ariana was a remarkable student," says Dr. Brian Howell, professor of anthropology and coordinator of competitive scholarships at Wheaton. "She excelled in every way while at Wheaton. After being a finalist last year, and then working in Iraq this past year, we thought she had a great shot again this year." He added that, "We're thrilled the committee wants to interview her again and we're praying for a great outcome."

Schmidt majored in International Relations and French while at Wheaton. She is the daughter of missionaries from Niger, and worked on multiple development projects with her family before coming to Wheaton in 2013. She participated in women's crew, the Tolkein Society, and volunteered for World Relief. She studied abroad in France her sophomore year, where, in addition to her studies, she volunteered in an elementary school and retirement home. In the summers of 2014 and 2015, Schmidt participated in a competitive internship with the State Department, working in the U.S. embassies of Gabon and Cambodia. After graduating in 2016, Schmidt was endorsed by Wheaton for the Rhodes Scholarship and was named a finalist. She did not receive the scholarship that year, and chose to accept a position with Samaritan's Purse, a Christian relief organization working in Northern Iraq. She has worked there since January, 2017.

Wheaton College is a Christian liberal arts college in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton that regularly ranks among the top colleges in the United States. In addition to the Rhodes, recent alumni have been finalists and winners of the Marshall Scholarship, Critical Language Scholarship, and Princeton-in-Asia Fellowship.

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