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King's College student joins the ranks of Rhodes scholars - Metro US

King’s College student joins the ranks of Rhodes scholars

When Rosanna Nicol found out she was selected to receive a Rhodes scholarship, she had a hard time believing it.

“I think my reaction was ‘No, no way,’” the 22-year-old University of King’s College student says.

She learned the news in late November, only 90 minutes after her interview with the selection committee. She was relaxing with her roommates and hadn’t even changed out of her interview clothes when the call came.

A celebration was definitely in order.

“My roommates turned up the music and we just kind of had a dance party and were just dealing with the emotional overload,” she says.

Nicol is one of 11 Canadians to receive this year’s batch of Rhodes scholarships and will begin her studies in September. One of the best-known and prestigious in the world, the scholarship covers all fees as well as a stipend for living expenses for two (and possibly three) years of post-graduate studies at the University of Oxford in England.

Nicol is currently wrapping up her arts degree in history and economics and plans on pursuing a masters in development. She’s had an interest in refugee and sustainability issues for most of her life and already has an idea for her thesis.

“I’m pretty interested in socially responsible investing and how we could get capital flow to areas that need it, but within a market structure, rather than an aid framework,” says Nicol.

She was hesitant at first about applying for the scholarship, but says the work involved with the application is what hooked her.

“What drew me to it … was how they really ask you in the documents you prepare for them to reflect on why you do all the stuff you do and to really question what your basic motivation is, and I hadn’t really done that,” says Nicol. “I don’t think a lot of us do that very often, you know, really wonder what is powering us.”

Nicol is an active member of student life at King’s. She’s in the King’s College Chapel Choir, plays on the Dalhousie/ King’s ultimate frisbee team, volunteers with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and helped introduce a student levy last year to help WUSC’s student refugee program.

The Rhodes scholarship was established in the will of Cecil Rhodes in 1902. Eighty-two recipients are selected worldwide every year and past recipients include former U.S. president Bill Clinton and Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams.

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