University of North Georgia student and Student Government Association president Anna Møller is the university’s first-ever Rhodes Scholarship finalist. Møller is a senior international student pursuing a degree in psychology with a minor in organizational leadership.
The Rhodes Scholarship is a national postgraduate award for students to study at England's University of Oxford. It is the oldest and most prestigious international graduate scholarship in the world. The Global Rhodes Scholarship, to which Møller, a Danish citizen, applied, is an exceedingly competitive international scholarship, according to Dr. Anastasia Lin, UNGs assistant vice president for Academic Affairs.
"The entire University of North Georgia community is incredibly proud of Anna and this achievement," UNG President Bonita C. Jacobs said. "Her drive and leadership skills have been evident throughout her time at UNG, and this accomplishment will propel her to further success."
According to the university, finalists for the Rhodes Scholarship are chosen for their outstanding scholarly achievements, their character, their commitment to others and to the common good, and their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.
"I'm still very happy with the process, and when asking what I could have done better, they could not pinpoint anything. I simply wasn't the best match available," Møller said.
Lin, who also directs UNG's Nationally Competitive Scholarships office, nominated Møller. Lin says that she and several other faculty and staff mentored Møller through the rigorous application process.
"Anna is unstoppable. She possesses a unique blend of academic excellence, leadership savvy and a genuine commitment to making the world a better place," Lin said. "She has honed her skills relentlessly through her work on sustainability issues, Student Government, and the Honors Program."
Lin also highlighted that she believes Anna is the kind of leader the world needs.
"She creates consensus through intelligent, informed and highly skilled dialogue and then takes effective action that leads to lasting change informed by community collaboration,” she said.
The Rhodes Trust, a British charity established to honor the will and bequest of Cecil J. Rhodes, provides full financial support for Rhodes Scholars to pursue a degree or degrees at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
The process of applying for the scholarship included a rigorous interview process that short-listed Møller for the scholarship. Later, she participated in a virtual social, which had been held on the Oxford campus pre-pandemic.
"The social engagement event brings all candidates together. I got to know who I was competing against and the panelists in an informal setting, but it's still part of the process," Møller said. "It's been a tradition that the finalists form a camaraderie, a community."
An individual interview followed that event, and she was notified of her status as a finalist on Nov. 19.
"It's so difficult to become a Rhodes finalist that reaching that status in itself is something that companies and universities will recognize," Møller said.
While at UNG, Moller has been a student leader on the university's Sustainability Committee, and she plans to become an environmental scientist and environmental leader.
"I'm unique because I bring a psychological perspective into it in terms of how can we make these environmental solutions actually work out within communities in countries in terms of what are the psychological barriers between that collaboration being successful," she said.