October 12, 2011
John Phillips of Manistee, a senior with a triple major in biology, environmental studies and history at Central Michigan University has been nominated to compete for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship and the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in England.
The Rhodes Scholarships, established in 1902 and named after the late Cecil Rhodes, are the oldest international postgraduate scholarships. Students are evaluated according to scholastic accomplishment, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, leadership instincts, and physical vigor. Rhodes himself outlined these standards to ensure that academics, physicality in leading and personal character be equally considered in an applicant.
Phillips, who is planning to pursue a career in conservation biology, is an Honors student and recipient of a Centralis Scholarship, CMU’s most prestigious academic award. He has substantial laboratory study and international fieldwork as well as conference presentations and publications in herpetology.
Phillips has also compiled an extensive record of community-service with evidence of strong leadership for civic engagement activities. Through Alternative Breaks at CMU, Phillips helped repair hurricane-damaged homes in Mississippi, performed environmental services in the Gulf of Mexico, and will soon be leading volunteers in nature-conservation projects in the Everglades.
President and a member of the CMU Triathlon Club, Phillips devotes considerable time to training and to athletic development and led his team in numerous collegiate triathlons, including the 2011 USAT Collegiate Championships.
Each year, about 32 US representatives from nearly all fields of study are among the approximately 83 total Rhodes Scholars worldwide.
After soliciting letters of support from faculty and other university staff, Phillips submitted his application to Rhodes with strong endorsement from the National Scholarship Program.
“John’s exceptional accomplishments and potential make him a very competitive candidate for this prestigious award,” said Phame Camarena, director of University Honors and the National Scholarship Program. “He is an outstanding example of the talented students attending CMU.”
Elected 2011 Rhodes Scholars will be announced in November.