Mississippi Teen Earns Rare Rhodes Scholar Honor

Ericka M. Wheeler became the first Black woman from Mississippi to claim the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

The Millsaps College senior is a double major in English and history, and has plans to become a physician after watching her grandfather suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

Wheeler was selected as one of 32 men and women who will enter Oxford University next fall for postgraduate study.

“I’m shocked and overwhelmed right now,” she told the Clarion-Ledger. “I couldn’t believe it when they announced it. I’m still trying to process it.”

The most recent Mississippi resident to win was Donald “Field” Brown, a 2013 Mississippi State University graduate.

Wheeler said she will study medical anthropology at the English university before attending medical school.