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Ole Miss Names Its First African American Female Rhodes Scholar Dec 6, 2019 | Education


Arielle Hudson, a senior English education major from Tunica, will compete for a Rhodes Scholarship during a series of interviews Nov. 22-23 in Birmingham, Alabama. Hudson has been involved in a variety of organizations at UM, including the Associated Student Body and the Black Student Union. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

S.E. Williams | Contributor

“It’s an amazing honor, and I am so grateful to have this opportunity to further walk in my purpose and to represent Mississippi,” said Arielle Hudson on becoming the University of Mississippi’s 27th Rhodes Scholar and the school’s first African American female to be selected for the prestigious, international scholarship program. “It’s so surreal,” she added.

Hudson, a senior English education major, was selected after interviews with the officials from the Rhodes Trust on Nov. 22-23 in Birmingham, Alabama. The scholarship recipients were announced Saturday, November 23, 2019.

A Tunica native, Hudson graduated from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus in 2016 and was awarded a full scholarship from the University of Mississippi chapter of the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program.

“Arielle’s selection as a Rhodes Scholar is an elite accomplishment and an outstanding reflection of her intellectual, personal and leadership skills,” said UM Chancellor Glenn Boyce. “As the university’s 27th Rhodes Scholar, her success on the national stage signifies our prominent role in producing strong leaders and programs.

“With her deep commitment to serving others, we can’t wait to see all she will accomplish in the future and the powerful impact she will have in our state.”

As a Rhodes recipient, Hudson plans to pursue dual master’s degrees in comparative social policy and comparative international education before returning home to the Mississippi Delta to fulfill her five-year teaching requirement as an METP scholarship recipient.

“The scholarship provides me with the opportunity to study internationally at Oxford without financial burdens,” Hudson said. “I am most excited about being able to work with professors and other students from other countries and diverse backgrounds to learn about what their countries are currently doing to tackle societal problems so that I can bring that back to the U.S. and, specifically, Mississippi.”

A second-generation Ole Miss student, she remembers visiting campus as a child with her mother, Tammie Turner, who earned two degrees in education from the university.

Hudson had originally planned to attend the University of California at Berkeley however the METP scholarship provided an opportunity for her to follow in her mother’s footsteps.

“I always thought I would go to an out-of-state school, but when I received the scholarship, I started to think about how I would make a difference here,” she said. “So, I decided to go for it.”

The Rhodes Scholarships, established in 1902, bring 32 high-achieving students from around the globe to the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom each year. Besides “intellectual distinction,” the selection committee looks for college graduates with potential for effective service to the world.

Rhodes Scholars receive tuition, travel, room and board, and a living stipend for two years, with a possible third year.

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