University of Iowa

In the news: UI senior Austin Hughes named Rhodes scholar

November 20th, 2018

UI senior Austin Hughes is the 21st Rhodes scholar in UI history. UI senior Melissa Lauer was also a finalist. Photo by Tim Schoon.

By Lee Hermiston, Iowa Now

Newly named Rhodes scholar Austin Hughes, a University of Iowa senior from Arlington, Texas, is ready to represent his two home states on the international level.

“Honestly, that is the part I’m most psyched about,” says Hughes. “I think both of those places—Texas and Iowa—have shaped who I am.”

Hughes was selected as one of 32 American Rhodes scholars on Nov. 17 out of 880 applicants representing 281 American colleges and universities. The American scholars will join scholars from more than 60 countries around the world. Hughes and his fellow Rhodes scholars each will receive about $70,000 a year to study at Oxford University in England beginning in October 2019.

UI senior Melissa Lauer, an honors student from Des Moines, Iowa, majoring in English and creative writing as well as studio arts, was a Rhodes scholarship finalist.

At UI, Hughes is pursuing majors in English and creative writing, and Japanese language and literature. He is a member of the UI Honors Program, co-president of the English Society, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Tau Delta and the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the Beinecke Scholarship, a highly selective fellowship offered to students to pursue advanced degrees in the arts, humanities, or social sciences.

Hughes is the 21st UI student awarded a Rhodes scholarship since 1905. The university’s most recent Rhodes scholar was Jeffrey Ding, in 2015.

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