BY HALEY HODGES
The Rhodes Scholarship is prestigious, given to only 32 students across the Unites States. Though she didn’t win one of the two coveted spots in her district, Drake University senior Madison Glennie was one of the Rhodes Scholarship finalists, one of 15 in the district.
Glennie is studying English and law, politics and society (LPS) with a concentration in women and gender studies. She is also a member of Drake’s golf team and is in the honors program.
Her process for applying to be a Rhodes scholar was extensive, requiring up to eight letters of recommendation on both her character and academic standings, an essay, a mock interview process and travelling to Chicago in mid-November for an in-depth interview.
“I did research on different things, I looked back at all of my different classes because they can ask you about anything and I’ve taken a lot of classes at Drake,” Glennie said. “It was a really great experience. Preparation for it was extensive but I’m really glad that I did it and it’s made applying for law school a lot easier in comparison.”
Although Glennie spent her first two years at Drake pursuing her English degree, she eventually added a second major in LPS, which has sparked her passions and future goals.
“I want to work with survivors of gender violence like sexual assault, human trafficking and intimate partner violence,” Glennie said. “I want to do that work and I think having a law degree would be a really good place to start because then you have a tool that you can help these individuals with that they may not have access to otherwise.”
Interest in the topic came from both studying law, politics and society and in her women and gender studies concentration. Along with her concentration in the subject, Glennie serves on the advisory board for the program under recommendation from Professor Melisa Klimaszewski, whom Glennie came to know through the English department.
Glennie said that this experience at Drake leading her up to her decision also included “Working with Professor Klimaszewski in various classes and in the women and gender studies program steering committee these last two years. I think working with her on those things and also learning from her in classes has been really helpful in understanding what I want to do and the way that I want to do it.”
Glennie has decided that her next step after graduation in May will be going to law school, so she has begun that process looking at schools primarily in the Midwest and the Northeast, far from her home state of Florida.
Last summer, Glennie worked as an intern for the Justice Restoration Center in Florida where she was able to work with survivors of human trafficking. She will be working with them next summer, as well.
“It definitely helped me see what I want to do and how I want to help these people,” Glennie said.
Despite Glennie’s busy schedule as a student athlete and double major, she has learned over her four years at Drake how to balance sports and academics with enough planning and consideration.
“You just have to be really focused and determined and know when you can’t go to a movie because you have to do your homework and live in the library for a couple days,” Glennie said. “Also, I’ve always just really loved learning, so being able to come and read in the library isn’t something I see as a chore. I think having that sort of perspective helps when you’re so overwhelmed with a lot of different things, is that you really enjoy learning about the things that you do. And I enjoy being prepared in class discussions so I can contribute and have interesting conversations.”
Although Glennie has no plans to pursue golf on a team or tour after college, she said it will still be something she always does, especially when she visits her parents where she plays golf with her dad and play putt-putt with her mom.
“It’s been a big part of my life since I was five, so I don’t know what I would do without it,” Glennie said.
She said she will also miss Drake’s golf team and the women she’s met through it.
Glennie said she was grateful just for the experience to go through the interview process.
“It was a chance to meet really interesting people as well,” Glennie said. “I knew when I went to the interview that everyone would be so different and so interesting and I was right, because when I went there and met all of the different finalists, they were all in different majors and different areas and they were doing important things. Getting to talk to people for two days about the work they’re doing and getting to meet them was a really amazing opportunity. I just can’t wait to see what they’re all going to do next.”