The United States Military Academy is proud to announce the Rhodes Scholars for the Class of 2021, CDT Tyrese Bender and CDT Evan Walker. They are of 32 scholars from the United States and will be joining recipients from more than 60 other countries. The last time West Point had more than one Rhodes scholar was back in 2014.
From San Antonio, TX, Tyrese Bender is an Engineering Management major at the United States Military Academy. His experience on several different sports teams throughout his life, to include his experience as a two-year track team captain at the Academy, sparked his passion for improving team cohesion through a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. His research has allowed him to contribute to the Academy’s inaugural USCC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy. Additionally, as the Cadet Leader Development Regimental Executive Officer this past summer, Tyrese facilitated conversations on various character development topics, providing individuals at the Academy the opportunity to navigate and connect through the challenges of a global pandemic and civil unrest. Tyrese is also the Deputy Brigade Commander at the Academy, making him the second-highest ranking cadet in the West Point chain of command. In hopes to foster more equitable, inclusive, and effective organizational and national policies, Tyrese will pursue MScs in Sociology and Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
Born and raised in Rowlett, Texas, Evan Walker is an Operations Research Major at the United States Military Academy. With a passion for mentorship and leadership, her research and extracurriculars are centered around these topics as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through the Elevation Initiative, a club for high performing minority cadets, Evan has had the opportunity to mentor 3rd and 4th Class Cadets on both leadership and academics. As a two-year captain of the Army Boxing team, she has balanced physical training with development as she mentored members on her team. She continued by implementing a formal mentorship program as a Regimental Commander for the 1,100 Cadets she currently leads. This past summer, as the Cadet Basic Training Regimental Commander, she facilitated conversations on diversity equity and inclusion among the Cadet leaders and New Cadets amidst the global pandemic and civil unrest that occurred prior to the summer's training. At Oxford she will read for an MPhil in Comparative Social Policy with a focus on the intersection between policy and inequalities in the workplace and their influence on social inclusion and mobility for racial and gender minorities. More info.