Farmington graduate Coleman Warren has just been named a 2022 Rhodes Scholar for graduate study at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Elliot F. Gerson, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust, announced the names of the 32 Americans chosen as Rhodes Scholars representing the United States on Saturday. Coleman is the first Farmington graduate to ever receive this prestigious honor.
In a press release, Gerson called the Rhodes Scholarships, "the oldest and best-known award for international study, and arguably the most famous academic award available to American college graduates." He went on to say that "a Rhodes Scholar should show great promise of leadership. In short, we seek outstanding young people of intellect, character, leadership and commitment to service."
Gerson said that the Rhodes Trust seeks students who believe in "the performance of public duties as their highest aim.'"
"When they called my name, I was stunned, and the reality of it is just now sinking in," said Warren. "This is really just part of the many amazing experiences I have had at the University of Arkansas. There are so many incredible people I want to thank. Eight wonderful people wrote letters for me, dedicated faculty members participated in practice interviews, and accomplished research mentors and stellar leadership advisors counseled me along the way. Now, I have the opportunity to build on that support and to learn at Oxford more about how to address persistent problems like poverty and food insecurity and then return home to put all I have learned into practice as we work to address the challenges that face our state and country."
More than 2,300 outstanding students applied for the Rhodes Scholarship this year. For the 2022 competition, 235 finalists from 76 different colleges and universities interviewed for the Rhodes Scholarship on Nov. 19-20. Each year finalists interview in 16 districts and 32 U.S. Rhodes Scholars are chosen.
"Coleman Warren is a remarkable person who is very deserving of the highest level of recognition which the Rhodes Scholarship represents," said Charles Robinson, interim chancellor for the University of Arkansas. "Coleman has made a significant difference throughout his academic career but especially as ASG president. He has worked on a variety of important issues here and in the community, all while being a stellar student. I am very proud of him and his many accomplishments, that go well beyond the winning of this high honor. I am also very proud that he will represent our student body where so many shine in their fields of study, and who like Coleman, have service deeply imprinted on their hearts. He is a leader on this campus — this award and the study at Oxford will build on the foundation that he has laid here. I look forward to watching as the impact he will have on our state and our country unfolds in the years to come."
Warren, a native of Farmington, is also a 2021 Truman Scholar. In addition, he is the recipient of the Chancellor's Scholarship and the Governor's Distinguished Scholarship as well the Industrial Engineering Sophomore Scholar Award, an Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineers Scholarship, and the Gold President's Volunteer Service Award. In the summer before his sophomore year, Warren served as an AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate for the Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha, Nebraska, which later led to his creating Simple + Sweet, an artisanal ice cream business that has so far donated over 12,500 meals to local food banks. His undergraduate honors thesis studies the accessibility of food pantries in Washington County, Arkansas. At Oxford, he will pursue an Master of Philosophy in Comparative Social Policy. Warren plans a career focused on helping to alleviate childhood food insecurity in Arkansas, and he eventually hopes to run for political office.