BY SOPHIE BIRD
As a high school student in Kokomo, Indiana, Morgan Mohr first read about the Rhodes Scholarships in The New York Times. The prestigious academic award selects highly qualified students from colleges in the United States and other countries. The scholarship covers all expenses for two or three years of postgraduate study, plus a stipend for expenses, at the University of Oxford in England.
“I remember being awed by the description of the interview process,” she says. “It includes a cocktail party! I never dreamed I would compete for it.”
With encouragement from professors and advisors at Indiana University, Mohr, now 22, did apply. She received the news in November that she has been accepted as a 2017 Rhodes Scholar, one of just 32 selected from 882 endorsed American applicants and the only recipient from a Big Ten university.
“I felt like I had been hit by a truck,” says Mohr. “Complete awe and disbelief and unadulterated joy.”
Funds for the scholarships come from the Rhodes Trust, a British charity established from the will of British businessman, mining magnate, and South African politician Cecil J. Rhodes, who died in 1902.
Mohr, who came to IU as a Wells Scholar, will graduate in May with a triple major in political science, feminist policy, and history.
Involved in several political and social justice organizations while at IU, Mohr contributed to the revival and leadership of the Feminist Student Association, led and participated in College Democrats, and served in IU President Michael McRobbie’s student advisory group, the Board of Aeons. She has also been involved in the community, volunteering at Middle Way House and as a patient escort for Planned Parenthood.
Mohr took off her fall semester to work on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, first as an intern to the chief operating officer at Clinton’s national headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, and then as deputy operations director for the Florida Democratic Coordinated Campaign.
She has been a White House intern with the Office of the First Lady and, locally, served as director of operations for the primary campaign of Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.
While at Oxford, Mohr will study comparative social policy. She intends to pursue a career in law and public policy.