Agnes Scott student named 2024 Rhodes ScholarMadison Jennings. Photo provided by Agnes Scott College.
Decatur, GA — The Rhodes Trust has announced the winners of the 2024 Rhodes Scholarship and among them is Agnes Scott senior Madison Jennings.
According to the Rhodes Trust, Jennings is from Savannah and is majoring in political science at Agnes Scott.
“She is president of the pre-law society and an intern at the Carter Center, where she has worked on issues ranging from supporting civil society organizations in Liberia to identifying policing alternatives in Georgia,” the announcement from the Rhodes Trust says. “She is also a project executive for the Pop Up Library for Peace, which creates mobile outdoor libraries for youth in the Savannah area. She is classically trained in ballet and has led three ballet productions. At Oxford, Madison will pursue a Master of Public Policy and an M.Sc. in Public Policy Research.”
The college noted her work at the school includes “research on international law in Afghanistan and Georgia’s maternal health policy. She has also researched workplace sexual harassment laws and public safety legislation during the 2023 Georgia legislative session.”
Jennings wants to work as a policy director, to craft “a comprehensive and empathetic humanitarian policy that is intersectional in its values and global in its influence.”
While she was preparing for the scholarship, Jennings wrote, ““The Gullah tradition, rooted in the fusion of grassroots organizing and policy change, continues to influence my academic and professional pursuits. The community-based model I’ve embraced transcends cultural boundaries, and as a policy director, I intend to leverage these community-based models to demonstrate how local dynamics inform global policies.”
Here’s the full announcement from Agnes Scott about Jennings being named a Rhodes Scholar:
Madison Jennings ’24 has been named a Rhodes Scholar and will begin fully funded postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom next fall. At Oxford, Madison will pursue a Master of Public Policy and an MSc in Public Policy Research.
From Savannah, Georgia, Madison is majoring in political science and minoring in religious studies with a Global Learning Specialization at Agnes Scott College. She is president of the Agnes Scott College pre-law society and an intern at The Carter Center, where she has worked on issues ranging from supporting women’s education and activism in Liberia to identifying support for policing alternatives in Georgia. As a Duke PreLaw Fellow, she developed a passion for international law and policy. Jennings is also classically trained in ballet and has led three ballet productions. Her scholarly work at Agnes Scott includes research on international law in Afghanistan and Georgia’s maternal health policy. She has also researched workplace sexual harassment laws and public safety legislation during the 2023 Georgia legislative session; her applied experiences include working with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce on policy development; humanitarian policy analysis at CARE USA; and civil society organizing in Liberia with The Carter Center. Madison is the founder and project executive for PopUp Library for Peace, a literacy project she conceived and secured funding for in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on childhood literacy in her community. In all this work, Madison begins with a commitment to understand and advocate for disenfranchised communities. With that commitment, she builds deep knowledge of policy and strategy, remaining grounded in advocacy that motivates her.
“We are extremely proud of Madison and the outstanding work she has done in the classroom and in the community. At Agnes Scott, we focus on educating our students to be global citizens and inclusive leaders. Madison is a true example of both. We know that she will continue to lead and to make a difference today and tomorrow,” said Leocadia I. Zak, president of Agnes Scott College.
“Madison has dedicated her life to being a voice for her heritage and empowering those historically underrepresented, and that is evident in both her academic work as well as her personal life,” said Dr. Mary Cain, associate professor of history. “Her vision for inspiring others and fostering teamwork is steeped in grassroots organizing, reflecting cultural resilience and a commitment to community empowerment, and these are the attributes that make her a 2024 Rhodes Scholar.”
In preparing for this opportunity, Madison writes about how “The Gullah tradition, rooted in the fusion of grassroots organizing and policy change, continues to influence my academic and professional pursuits. The community-based model I’ve embraced transcends cultural boundaries, and as a policy director, I intend to leverage these community-based models to demonstrate how local dynamics inform global policies.” Madison notes that she has “learned that leadership is not solely about identifying challenges and crafting solutions—it is also about inspiring others and fostering teamwork.”
Looking toward future work as a policy director, Madison’s goal is to craft a comprehensive and empathetic humanitarian policy that is intersectional in its values and global in its influence. Madison’s work in collaborative partnerships with community organizations has shaped her commitment to addressing systemic inequalities and to using strategies that are culturally sensitive and responsive to the needs of specific places and people.
About the Rhodes Scholarship
The Rhodes Scholarship, established in 1903, is the oldest and most prestigious international fellowship in the world. Rhodes Scholars are fully supported in their study at the University of Oxford for a period of two to three years. This year’s Scholars were selected from a pool of more than 2,500. Per the criteria of the fellowship, Rhodes Scholars have demonstrated academic excellence, along with exemplary leadership and service experience.
About Agnes Scott College
Agnes Scott empowers diverse women of every identity to claim their place as leaders in our communities, workplaces and world. Ranked No. 1 Most Innovative for the sixth year in a row, No. 2 for Social Mobility and No. 3 for First-Year Experiences by U.S. News & World Report in its 2024 Best Colleges, Agnes Scott is a premier institution known for SUMMIT, its signature approach to a liberal arts education focusing on global learning, leadership development and professional success. Learn more at www.agnesscott.edu.
Mariah Cady, from the University of Georgia, also won a Rhodes Scholarship, according to the Rhodes Trust.
“Mariah L. Cady, Midland, is a senior at the University of Georgia where she majors in International Affairs and Russian, with minors in Geography, German and Teaching Second Languages,” the Rhodes Trust announcement says. “She is founder and leader of the Native American Students Association at UGA and worked as a tutor for Paper Airplanes, Inc., an organization that supports refugee populations and displaced persons through educational services. Mariah is a Foundation Fellow at UGA, the University’s highest undergraduate scholarship, and is currently studying in Kazakhstan as a Boren Scholar. Mariah speaks eight languages including Russian, German, Serbo-Croatian and Lakota. Mariah hopes to pursue a career as a diplomat. At Oxford, she will pursue an M.St. in Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics and an M.Sc. in Forced Migration Studies.”
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