LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 16, 2016) — University of Kentucky senior Rachel Dixon, of Lexington, was recently named a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. Dixon, an English and writing, rhetoric and digital studies major, will interview for the prestigious scholarship that funds graduate study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.
A UK Honors College member and former ambassador, Dixon is a Gaines Fellow who is currently writing her thesis on “Mining Policy and Mythic Systems in Kentucky.” The senior, who is pursuing a minor in Spanish, also worked on the Celtic Culture in Lexington Oral History Research Project. She has given presentations on Kentucky’s coal rhetoric at the 2016 Rhetoric Society of America National Conference and on cultural rhetoric, assimilation and acculturation at the 2014 National Conference for Undergraduate Research. Her work has been published in five journals, books and reports and served as an editorial assistant for manuscripts on collaboration, population health and health policy at the UK College of Public Health.
Dixon is equally as busy on campus outside of UK’s classrooms and research facilities. She has held several leadership positions including director of partnerships for the UK Center for Community Outreach and director of FUSION. In addition, Dixon was a UK Leadership Exchange Student Ambassador, a student facilitator at the EMPOWER: Women’s Leadership Retreat and a participant in the UK Confucius Institute Young Leaders Trip to China. She also volunteered teaching children English in Jinotega, Nicaragua, as part of UK Alternative Service Breaks.
Dixon has been active in the Lexington community as well. She has served as an evaluator and assistant coach for Kentucky’s Future Problem Solving organization, a Summer Mayor’s Fellow with Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and a volunteer at Lexington Public Library’s Village Branch. Dixon also worked with Legit Apps Inc. and two other UK students, Justus Wesloh and Justin Hill, on an online, interactive map of community events and helped design and construct a recording studio for a local alternative school, The Learning Center. Dixon’s service on campus and in the community led to her selection as the winner of the 2016 Darrell A. VanMeter Award for Outstanding Community Service.
Dixon applied for the Rhodes Scholarship through the UK Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, part of the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Student and Academic Life at UK. The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation.
Students interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with the office’s director, Pat Whitlow, well in advance of the scholarship deadline.