On the Rhode to Success: Jamie Cyr Named Finalist for Prestigious Scholarship

Photo courtesy of Smith Athletics | Jamie Cyr ’16 was selected as a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship.

Photo courtesy of Smith Athletics | Jamie Cyr ’16 was selected as a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship.


Raegan Stokes ’19
Assistant Sports Editor

Jamie Cyr ’16, a member of the Smith Soccer team, was recently selected as a finalist for the distinguished Rhodes Scholarship. The Rhodes Scholarship pays for two to three years of postgraduate study at The University of Oxford. According to the Rhodes Scholars website, “Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.”

The Rhodes Scholarship is a tremendous opportunity, attained through an extremely selective process. To apply, one must provide five to eight letters of recommendation, the endorsement of her institution, a personal statement, a certified transcript and a list of athletic and team-related activities. Once the 200 finalists are selected, the finalists give 15-30 minute interviews with a district selection committee, and decisions are announced shortly after. Last year, only 32 students were chosen out of 877 applicants for the Rhodes Scholarship, roughly 3.6 percent of applicants. TIME magazine calls it the “world’s most prestigious scholarship.”

Cyr has been a part of the Smith soccer team for four years, playing in 38 games, scoring two career goals and one assist. Not only has she been a steady part of the Smith soccer team, she has also acquired much recognition during her soccer career. She was named on the NEWMAC Academic All Conference team in 2013 and 2014. On top of that, she was acknowledged as an Amgen Scholar, Suzan Rose Benedict Scholar and Goldwater Scholar.

Cyr found out that she was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship right after playing her senior game. She recalls feeling “surprised, actually in disbelief” because “just to be considered at this level is a huge honor.”

Being a student athlete is a crucial part of being a Rhodes Scholar. It shows that the student is committed and applying her abilities and energy to all aspects of life.

Cyr talked about her relationship with the soccer team, saying, “This team has taught me so much about hard work, perseverance, resilience and commutability and provided me with an unquantifiable amount of support.”

Cyr is majoring in mathematics with a minor in chemistry and concentration in biomathematics. If she wins the Rhodes Scholarship, she hopes to use her time at Oxford to study the use of biomathematics in tissue engineering and the construction of extracellular matrix scaffold. This would aid in her overall goal of a research career concentrating on making accessible clinical care improvements in the developing world.

If awarded, Cyr will be just the fifth student from Smith to receive this scholarship, after Tariro Makadzange ’97 from Zimbabwe, Angela Lwiindi Leila Hassna ’94 from Zambia and Clarke Knight ’14 from the United States. Cyr said, “Whether I win or not doesn’t matter because the education I have received throughout this process is invaluable.”

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