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Khan named Rhodes Scholarship finalist


Azeem Khan stands in front of Stewart Hall

Passionate about public service, West Virginia University student Azeem Khan is a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest and most celebrated international awards in the world.

The Charleston native is a political science major with dual minors in business cybersecurity and philosophy. Earlier this year, he was named the University’s 26th Truman Scholar.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the opportunity to compete for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Khan said. “The Rhodes Trust has an extremely challenging application process, which I have found very rewarding every step of the way. I have no doubt, regardless of the outcome this weekend, this next step will be equally fulfilling."

Khan will interview with the Rhodes District 11 Selection Committee in Detroit Nov. 10-11. The Scholarship is a two-year postgraduate award to study at Oxford University in England.

“Azeem truly embodies the Rhodes Scholarship selection criteria, including academic excellence, an ability to lead others, and a desire to make positive changes in the world,” Amy Cyphert, director of the ASPIRE Office, said. “He is a shining example of what can be accomplished through hard work, service to others, and fully embracing the opportunities available at WVU.”

If named a recipient, Khan plans to pursue a Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Policy. 

“This would not be possible without the incredible support of my family, friends and mentors,” Khan said. “I am touched by the outpouring of encouragement and help I continue to receive from Mountaineers and West Virginians across our state and country. I will do my best to make our university and state proud this weekend in Detroit.”

The Honors College student has held several leadership roles on campus. He serves as co-chair of the Mountaineer Fentanyl Task Force and as a member of Presidential Student Ambassadors. He previously served as president pro tempore and senator-at-large for Student Government Association.

Beyond his role as a student leader, Khan is a government relations intern for the WVU Office of Government Relations where he is collaborating with faculty, lawmakers, cybersecurity, economic and business experts to create and implement a strategic plan to advance cybersecurity related to economic development efforts across the state.

Support for the application was provided by Yoav Kaddar, professor of dance and faculty adviser for the Rhodes Scholarship, and the ASPIRE Office, which helps students pursue national awards.

Each year, 32 U.S. students are among more than 100 Rhodes Scholars worldwide selected based in part on academic excellence, commitment to service, ambition for social impact, and leadership potential.