University of Alabama student Nicholas Hayes was named as one of 32 Americans to receive a Rhodes Scholarship, the 16th UA student to earn the honor.
Hayes is on course to graduate May 2022 with bachelor's degrees in German and mathematics, and plans to study at England's University of Oxford beginning in October 2022.
The UA Honors College student was chosen from a pool of 826 applicants nominated by their colleges and universities. Academic excellence is considered a given, according to Elliot F. Gerson, American secretary for the Rhodes Trust.
Scholars chosen should also "... have great ambition for social impact, and an uncommon ability to work with others to achieve one’s goals. They should be committed to make a strong difference for good in the world, be concerned for the welfare of others, and be acutely conscious of inequities."
The scholarships are valued at about $75,000 per year to fund Oxford studies, up to as much as $250,000 for four year study in certain departments.
“All of us at the University of Alabama are filled with pride that one of our own was chosen for this well-deserved recognition,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell.
“We congratulate Nicholas Hayes on his selection as a Rhodes Scholar. He is representative of the quality of UA students, who have a strong record of national scholarship achievement, and his success reflects the dedicated faculty and staff who support our students in achieving their goals.”
Hayes will study for graduate degrees in mathematical science, linguistics, philology and phonetics at Oxford, with plans to turn his studies toward a career as researcher, analyst or data scientist.
“The Rhodes Scholarship is an unparalleled opportunity for graduate studies at one of the top universities in the world that allows me to connect with scholar leaders from around the globe,” Hayes said.
“I chose to come to the University of Alabama because of the high-degree of academic freedom I was allowed and for the opportunities to explore a multitude of different disciplines," including mathematics, physics, interdisciplinary linguistics, psychology, German and computer science.
"The Randall Research Scholars Program (formerly computer-based honors at UA) made the campus feel smaller, and I am grateful for the support from so many here that challenged and encouraged me.”
Rhodes scholarships, created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, fund all expenses for two to three years of study at Oxford, or in some cases for four years.
Hayes' other honors including Boren and Hollings scholarships, and internships at a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fishery research facility in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and with the U.S. Department of State.
He was named UA's outstanding junior, edited an undergraduate science journal, published in academic journals on linguistics, presented his research on dolphins at a national conference, published poetry, and translates between English and Swahili. He currently works for the Center for Advanced Defense Studies.
Son of Eric and Jenny Hayes, he was raised in Simsbury, Connecticut, and moved outside Memphis, Tennessee, as a teen to graduate from Collierville High School.
For more, see www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/office-of-the-american-secretary.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: UA student Nicholas Hayes chosen as one of 32 Rhodes scholars