WashU’s 30th Rhodes Scholar wants to help grassroots leaders find climate solutions

Senior Tori Harwell plans to study nature, society and environmental governance as well as African studies at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. (Photo: Whitney Curtis/Washington University)

Washington University in St. Louis senior Victoria “Tori”  Harwell has been selected as a Rhodes Scholar, the 30th winner in university history. Harwell was among the 32 students nationwide selected Saturday, Nov. 11, to receive the prestigious honor that provides scholars the opportunity to earn an advanced degree at Oxford University.

Harwell plans to pursue sequential degrees in nature, society and environmental governance and in African studies at Oxford. Harwell, who uses both they/them and she/her pronouns, wants to use her education to empower grassroots leaders to address climate change in their local communities.

Harwell, of Denver, is majoring in African and African American studies and in environmental analysis, both in Arts & Sciences, at WashU and is both a Udall and a Mellon Mays scholar. They also are a member of the esteemed John B. Ervin Scholars Program, which has produced four university Rhodes Scholars since 2013. 

Chancellor Andrew D. Martin praised Harwell for her intellectual curiosity and global commitment to a more sustainable future.