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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Macalester Senior from Jamaica Named Rhodes Scholar

Michael WaulSt. Paul, Minn. – Nov. 17, 2008 - Michael Waul, a 21-year-old senior at Macalester College, has been named a Rhodes Scholar from his native Jamaica. A biochemistry major and geography minor, he is the only recipient this year of the prestigious scholarship from the Caribbean. 

Waul is the fourth Caribbean student in the past eight years from Macalester to be awarded this honor and the 13th in the college’s history.

He was notified of the decision last Friday after interviewing in Jamaica.

Some of his Macalester professors and friends thought he had a good chance but Waul wasn’t as sure.  “When I got there, there were [a number of] other talented and well-accomplished final candidates,” said Waul who was delighted to be selected for the coveted scholarship.

Waul will pursue a two-year Master’s degree in Medicinal Chemistry, at Oxford University in England.

Waul's academic adviser, Geography Professor Laura Smith said, “It is difficult for me to imagine anyone more perfectly suited to be a Rhodes Scholar than Michael.  He makes it appear effortless to balance a rigorous academic schedule with multiple leadership roles and service activities – and best of all, he has one of the most genuinely appealing personalities you'll ever encounter.  He is quick with that brilliant smile, and I have so enjoyed working with and getting to know him over the last four years.”

Chemistry Professor Ronald Brisbois said, “Michael is a diligent, mature, enthusiastic, and pleasant young man whose senses of humor and perspective, as well as his ever-present smile, draw people to him.  Michael has the innate foundations of aptitude, attitude, self-motivation, and charisma that make it easy for me to envision great things for and from him.”

Waul will begin his education at Oxford University in September 2009.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,884 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.