UNC Student Body Vice President Rachel Myrick wins Rhodes Scholarship

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Senior Rachel Myrick is happily rescinding all of her other graduate school applications after receiving news Saturday that she will be a Rhodes Scholar.

Myrick, who is a Morehead-Cain Scholar, Carolina Research Scholar and Carolina Public Service Scholar, is the 48th Rhodes Scholar from UNC.

The 32 American Rhodes Scholars of 2013 were selected from a pool of 838 candidates nominated by their colleges and universities.

“I knew it was such a long shot,” said Myrick, who is also the student body vice president.

“I got in the middle of so many graduate school applications because it was totally inconceivable that this was going to happen, but now that I’m canceling all of those applications, it’s a great feeling.”

Myrick said the notification process was delayed because of Hurricane Sandy.

The applications were due to the University the first week of school, and about a week and a half ago, Myrick received the invitation to attend the final round of interviews in Washington, D.C., this past weekend.

The two scholars for each of the 16 districts in the United States were announced in front of candidates and interviewers on Saturday.

“When I heard my name, I just froze. I was in total disbelief. We had already been waiting for three hours altogether, and I was preparing myself for thanking interviewers and congratulating candidates,” Myrick said.

Student Body President Will Leimenstoll said he could not think of a more deserving person to receive the Rhodes Scholarship than Myrick.

“She is completely qualified academically and socially, and she’s a good person at heart,” he said. “I’m glad to see it going to people who have worked hard for it and will do something positive with it.”

In a news release Sunday, Chancellor Holden Thorp congratulated Myrick.

“The Rhodes is a well-deserved honor for this exceptionally bright student, and it will provide even more opportunities for Rachel to make a difference in the world.”

Myrick said she became interested in applying for the scholarship while studying abroad in London her sophomore year.

She will obtain her M.Phil. in International Relations at the University of Oxford, which she hopes will lead to a Ph.D.

Patrick Snyder, a friend of Myrick’s since their freshman year of high school, said she tries to make a positive impact on everyone she meets.

“Coming to Carolina, I knew she was going to set herself up for greatness with her drive and motivation to be involved on campus and in the community,” Snyder said.

Myrick said she is grateful to her high school teachers who taught her to love learning — and the faculty and administrators at UNC who encouraged her to look into the opportunity.

“I think I’ve just had the help and support and encouragement of so many people along this road,” she said.

“It was a stressful process but totally worth it,” she said.

“I still don’t really think it’s sunk in.”

Contact the desk editor at university@dailytarheel.com.

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