Kalamazoo College's only Rhodes Scholar offers advice to WMU finalist

M Live
Kalamazoo, MI

Kalamazoo College alum Becky Gray, the only college student in Kalamazoo to ever received a Rhodes Scholarship, has some words of advice for scholarship finalist Mitch Zajac, a Western Michigan University graduate student and former football player.

Besides being a scholar herself, she also served for the Rhodes Scholar selection committee.

Zajac and 13 other finalists from the region are traveling to Chicago this weekend for the final leg of the interview process.  A total of 32 scholarships to the University of Oxford are awarded every year; two from each region. If Zajac receives the scholarship, he'll be the first WMU student to do so and the first student-athlete in the Mid-American Conference. 

“Really try to relax and be yourself,” said Gray, 53, who is now the editor of Duke University’s Evidence-based Practice Center. “Don’t try to impress people, he’ll be asked a lot of questions, but he just needs to take deep breaths, think for a second and respond from the person that he is. If that comes across and you can communicate a genuine personality; it’s amazing. The difference between someone who is struggling to impress you and someone being their self is night and day.”

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