Tavarek “Tie” Gamble-Eddington has yet to fully process the news.
After the 22-year-old Union College graduate learns that he had been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to complete a master’s degree in comparative government at the University of Oxford starting next October, Gamble-Eddington is only starting to come to terms with it all. Resource.
“It’s starting to sink in a little more,” he said. “I think when you first hear it, you don’t really realize it.”
Becoming a Rhodes Scholar – considered the most prestigious international scholarship in the world – is the latest in a long series of academic achievements for Gamble-Eddington, who grew up in a low-income household in Springfield, Massachusetts, and is graduating college. The first member of his family to do so.
Last year George J. After being awarded the Mitchell Scholarship, he is pursuing a Master’s in Race, Ethnicity and Conflict at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. The scholarship allows up to 12 US students to study in Ireland at no cost.
Those who know him are not surprised by his success, although his academic journey on his way to becoming a human rights lawyer is a story of hard work and perseverance.
Gamble-Eddington—the second Rhodes Scholar in Union College history—credits her interest in politics by prompting her mother to become involved with her neighborhood council while in high school. That involvement eventually led him to volunteer for several local, state, and national political campaigns, where he would meet mentors who would help shape his vision and encourage him to step outside of his comfort zone. .
Eventually, he found himself on the union campus as part of the school’s Academic Opportunities Program, which provides financial and counseling support to first-generation students with low-income backgrounds.
He will take advantage of this opportunity, graduating with top honors this past June with degrees in political science and history.
While on campus, Gamble-Eddington took on a role as a community activist and held leadership positions in several on-campus organizations, including the Black Student Union, Union Pride, and the college’s LGBTQ+, diversity and civic engagement committees.
He not only helped launch the union chapter of My Brother’s Keeper, a mentorship program that works with Schenectady youth, but also served as an intern in the office of US Representative Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam. He also conducted a series of on-campus discussions with former members of Congress relating to current events.
Gamble-Eddington said, “Just a series of mentors of sorts who have encouraged me to take the next step, apply for something, reach out, push myself, but I’m also interested in my academics. ” ,
During his time at the consortium, he applied for dozens of scholarships and fellowship opportunities to help cover the cost of new opportunities, which allowed him to study internationally in Washington DC, as well as in Poland, Spain and Argentina. Permission granted. He estimates that he was denied two or three scholarships for every one he received.
But when one door closed, another opened for Gamble-Eddington.
“I’ve been very lucky,” he said. “And I’m very cognizant of the fact that many others haven’t.”
hard work pays off
His success comes as no surprise to those who worked with him throughout his academic journey, including Robert Hislop, a professor of political science at Union College.
Hislop first met Gamble-Eddington at an AOP summer program in 2017 and became her mentor after enrolling in the political science program.
A “brutal reader,” Gamble-Eddington will help lift others around her and expand classroom conversations beyond the topics set out in the curriculum, Hislop said.
He remembered turning Gamble-Eddington into extensive research papers that went far beyond the required limits. For example, the required 20-page term paper on Belgian political institutions turned into 50 pages.
“He’s smart, but he also works incredibly hard,” Hislop said. “He’s like those artists or athletes who have some natural skill but have to work on it. They don’t rest on their laurels. They’re always working diligently to improve their skills, and that’s really good.” I’m fit for Ty.”
Lynn Evans, director of the national fellowship at the union, agreed.
Evans estimates that Gamble-Eddington applied for at least 25 scholarship and fellowship opportunities during her time in college.
“From the beginning, he was just an incredibly hardworking student, willing to put in the time and effort to put together strong applications for the opportunities he was very interested in,” she said. “I think the willingness to work towards achieving the goals I set for myself has really served him well over time.”
Evans recommended Gamble-Eddington to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship because he believed he was a perfect fit. She recommends only one or two students a year to apply for the scholarship.
“Whenever someone looks at their resume, they ask how they fit it all in,” she said. “So, the traits that Rhodes is looking for – academics, energy, amazing character, leadership and caring for others – he really matches them all perfectly.”
Meanwhile, Gamble-Eddington plans to finish her current master’s program next summer before returning to Springfield to spend time with family.
He will then travel to Oxford next October to complete a two-year master’s degree in comparative government, where he plans to study how minorities are served in government institutions as well as how democratic institutions serve similar groups. torture on.
“I’m probably going to do a comparative analysis of America with Western European countries, perhaps focusing on black people and other marginalized communities,” Gamble-Eddington said.
He hopes to become an international human rights lawyer, working with the United Nations or the International Court of Justice.
Gamble-Eddington said, “I want to work with marginalized communities overseas, focusing on raising their voices on human rights abuses, and focusing on how the state suppresses those rights.” may or may confer those rights.”
Still, Gamble-Eddington hasn’t lost sight of her achievements.
He hopes his story can inspire others who may be in a similar situation.
“No matter what your background, always pursue your passion, even if others tell you not,” Gamble-Eddington said. “Seize every opportunity that comes your way.”
Following his stint at Oxford, Gamble-Eddington plans to attend Law School. Which school he’ll attend hasn’t been decided yet, though he recently finished applying to more than a dozen schools, including Yale, Harvard, and Columbia.
“Hopefully they’ll defer to me,” he said.
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