University of Georgia student Mariah Cady was one of 32 students nationwide named a 2024 Rhodes Scholar this weekend. UGA is the only school in the SEC and one of only five public universities, in addition to the nation’s service academies, in the U.S. to have a Rhodes recipient this year.
Cady joins recipients from 64 countries around the world. UGA and Agnes Scott College were the only two institutions in Georgia to have Rhodes scholars in the 2024 cohort.
The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship award in the world. The 2024 Rhodes Scholars will begin their various courses of study as graduate students at the University of Oxford in October. Cady is a current Morehead Honors College student and Foundation Fellow at UGA. She is also a Security Leadership Program fellow in UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs.
“We are extraordinarily proud that Mariah has joined the long and distinguished list of University of Georgia students who have been honored as Rhodes Scholars,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “I am confident that Mariah will make significant contributions to the world through her academic and professional pursuits.”
Cady, a 2023 Boren Scholar from Midland, is a senior in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and School of Public and International Affairs, majoring in Russian and international affairs with minors in geography, German, and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).
“This remarkable honor is recognition of Mariah’s exceptional achievements as an undergraduate and a reflection of the excellence of UGA’s academic programs,” said S. Jack Hu, the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “I am particularly thankful for the faculty and staff of the Morehead Honors College and those across campus who have supported Mariah on her academic journey.”
At the University of Oxford, Cady plans to pursue two master’s degrees: the first in linguistics, philology and phonetics and the second in refugee and forced migration studies. She would like to specialize in Indo-European languages and deepen her studies in Arabic, Turkish and Greek. She plans to engage in critical reflection on the ways in which governments can enhance refugee resettlement policies. As she prepares for a career in diplomacy, she said, undergraduate degrees in Russian and international affairs and studies of eight languages—German, Russian, Lakota, Serbo-Croatian, Arabic, Greek, Turkish and Kazakh—have provided her with a dual foundation in cross-linguistic communication and human security studies.
A student in the UGA Russian Flagship Program, Cady is currently studying in Kazakhstan at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University as a Boren Scholar. From April to September, she studied at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany on an international student exchange.
Cady has researched the balance of regional, national and supra-regional identities in southern Germany; the culinary tradition of the Russian diaspora; preventative recommendations on border violence for refugees in Europe; press coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis across European states as well as in the U.K. and Germany; community resource mapping in Germany; and Supreme Court Justice ideology in cases involving indigenous tribes.
At UGA, she has been involved with the Native American Students Association, serving as president; Russian Club; Georgia Debate Union; and Paper Airplanes, providing free tutoring for refugees and individuals impacted by conflict. She was an English teaching assistant at the Newcomers Academy in Barrow County; an English tutor at Bay Creek Elementary School; a summer intern for the Freedom Fund Bailout Program; a community tutor with the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement; and an assistant debate coach for Harrisburg High School in South Dakota (online). She has received funding from UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) to support her research and has presented at the annual CURO Symposium.
Other recent UGA Rhodes Scholars include Natalie Navarrete in 2023, Phaidra Buchanan in 2021, Laura Courchesne in 2017, Elizabeth Allan in 2013, Tracy Yang in 2011, and Deep Shah and Kate Vyborny in 2008.