Lauren Mioton, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, was a finalist for the prestigious and internationally-acclaimed Rhodes Scholarship. Each year, 32 Americans are selected to pursue a graduate degree at Oxford University.
At Purdue, Lauren majored in General Biology and was a member of the University Honors Program. A member of the Purdue Women's Basketball Team from 2005-2009, Lauren was named Co-captain in her final two seasons. In 2008, she became Purdue's Homecoming Queen. Lauren conducted undergraduate research in Dr. Christie Sahley's neurobiology laboratory and in her junior year, she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Lauren also is committed to service. She was the creator and editor of the Live to Eat Cookbook. Her work was published in 2009, and raised $8,200 for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation's "Save Our Coast" campaign. Lauren currently attends the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
How did you learn about the Rhodes Scholarship? Why did you apply?
I first heard about the Rhodes Scholarship while in high school in New Orleans. At that time, I thought the scholarship would be a wonderful opportunity to become immersed in another culture and simultaneously pursue a higher degree of education. Oxford University has a long tradition of being an excellent institution, and I knew that to attend such a university without any financial obligations would be a dream come true. I was cognizant of the scholarship as a Purdue student. In my junior year, I was contacted by the University Honors Program and the National and International Scholarships Coordinator to contemplate applying for the scholarship. As a collegiate student-athlete, the scholarship seemed like the perfect fit for me because it stressed the importance of academic integrity, unselfishness, and leadership. I also learned the Rhodes Scholarship appreciates those who have an affinity for sports.
What was the most memorable or rewarding part of being named a finalist?
Although the whole process was very rewarding and exciting, my most memorable experience centered on the final interview round in Birmingham, Alabama. It was a great feeling to represent Purdue and to meet inspirational, like-minded peers from various backgrounds.
Any advice for Purdue students considering applying for the Rhodes Scholarship?
My first piece of advice is that if you have ANY interest in the scholarship, submit an application! The application itself is time consuming, but it's better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all. If you decide to apply, make sure your application essay is clear, concise, and elucidates your personality and character. Once you submit an application, I suggest staying abreast of current events. Focus on issues that pertain to your area of interest, and have a general grasp of what is going in the United States and around the world. I learned the interview committee can and will ask you anything. Also, I suggest identifying ways to succinctly articulate the reason you wish to receive the scholarship. There are plenty of qualified applicants vying for this opportunity, so you need to express why receiving this scholarship is necessary for your future success and goals. Above all, have fun with the process and don't be disheartened if you are not chosen. It is an extremely prestigious award, but a lot of luck and good fortune goes into being selected as a recipient. By just going through the experience, you will learn so much more about yourself and what your aspirations in life really are.
What are your professional goals?
I plan on being a physician and working in disadvantaged communities.