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Arens Becomes 10th USD Rhodes Scholar

Josh Arens Josh Arens is USD's 10th Rhodes Scholar.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Josh Arens, a 2017 University of South Dakota chemistry graduate, was named one of 32 Rhodes Scholars for the Class of 2018.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that Josh has been named a Rhodes Scholar. It’s an extraordinary honor for an extraordinary young man,” said USD President James W. Abbott. “Josh is a great role model for all USD students.”

Arens is the 10th Rhodes Scholarship winner from USD. At the University of Oxford in England, he will pursue a master’s degree in philosophy in environmental change and management.

Arens had previously singled out former Honors Program Director and current International Office Director Susan Hackemer for her mentorship throughout his studies at USD. “While there are many individuals who’ve helped me out through the years, I’d like to single out Susan Hackemer. I wouldn’t have received any of these awards without her guidance,” said Arens, after winning the Fulbright Open Award last spring.

Arens, an honors graduate who grew up on a farm near Yankton, South Dakota, previously received the Fulbright Summer Institute Award to study at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom in the summer of 2014 and Fulbright Open Study Research Award which allowed him to research renewable energy at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia in Spain this fall. He is also the winner of a 2016 Harry S. Truman Scholarship which provides up to $30,000 for graduate study. His research interests are renewable energy and environmental policy.

The Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world. 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.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News